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Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2009 Dec;36 Suppl 1:36-8.

[The effect of videophone communication (with skype and webcam)for elderly patients with dementia and their caregivers].

[Article in Japanese]

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Dept. of Health Science, Nagoya University.


We conducted an intervention study to clarify how effectively videophone (Skype) was used in the communication for elderly patients with dementia cared at home and their caregivers. For a period of 12 weeks, a patient-caregiver pair(n = 6) communicated with a nurse via computer for 30 minutes once a week. The patient and the caregiver worked as a pair. Before and after the 12-week study period started, the intervention and control group (n = 7) patients were assessed with a cognitive scale (HDS-R), VAS, and a depression scale (SDS) for caregivers. The result on the 12th week showed signs of improvement on the intervention group in HDS-R and SDS. The intervention group kept no change in VAS, an expression of subjective feelings of happiness. Meanwhile, the control group significantly decreased in VAS. By the questionnaire for caregivers, many said that the videophone communication was a pleasure of the family and resulted in more family exchanges. Therefore, we consider that a videophone communication is useful for cognitive rehabilitation and the feelings of the patient, and it is also good for a satisfaction of the family.

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