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Nurs Res. 1992 Jul-Aug;41(4):196-202.

Effects of group interventions on cognition and depression in nursing home residents.

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Center on Aging and Health, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.


The effects of cognitive-behavioral group therapy, focused visual imagery group therapy, and education-discussion groups on cognition, depression, hopelessness, and dissatisfaction with life were studied among depressed nursing home residents. Seventy-six depressed subjects with mild to moderate cognitive decline participated in nurse-led 24-week protocols. Data were collected 4 weeks before the interventions, 8 and 20 weeks after treatment initiation, and 4 weeks after treatment termination. There were no significant changes in depression, hopelessness, or life satisfaction scores for any of the three conditions. Participants in the cognitive-behavioral and focused visual imagery groups showed a significant improvement beginning 8 weeks after treatment initiation on cognitive scores. These findings are encouraging indications that cognitive-behavioral and focused visual imagery group therapies may reduce cognitive impairment in depressed nursing home residents with mild to moderate cognitive decline.

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