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Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 Feb;42(1):7-16.

[Reminiscence and mental health, empirical underpinning of interventions].

[Article in Dutch]

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Universiteit Twente.


The relation between functions of reminiscence and mental health has been studied elaborately in older adults. In this paper a review of this research is first presented. Eight functions are distinguished: bitterness revival, boredom reduction, identity, problem solving, maintaining intimacy, preparing for death, teaching/informing and conversation. Some functions such as bitterness revival are used more often by people with depression or anxiety. Other functions such as identity are used less often by people with psychological distress. A model based on these research findings is discussed. Three types of interventions are distinguished: reminiscence, life-review and life-review therapy. Life-review therapy is an evidence based treatment of depression in older adults. In the last part of the paper three effective Dutch interventions are discussed: Op zoek naar zin (Searching for meaning), Dierbare Herinneringen (Dear Memories) and De verhalen die we leven (The stories we live by).

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