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J Adv Nurs. 2016 Dec;72(12):3020-3033. doi: 10.1111/jan.13076. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Change in quality of life in older people with dementia participating in Paro-activity: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Section for Public Health Sciences, Ås, Norway.
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Section for Public Health Sciences, Ås, Norway.
Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway.
Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Care, Molde University College, Norway.
Faculty of Health and Social Studies, Østfold University College, Fredrikstad, Norway.

Erratum in



The aim of this study was to investigate effects of robot-assisted group activity with Paro on quality of life in older people with dementia.


Nursing home residents with severe dementia often experience social withdrawal and lower quality of life, which are suggested to be enhanced by non-pharmacological interventions.


A cluster-randomized controlled trial. Ten nursing home units were randomized to robot-assisted intervention or control group (treatment as usual).


Data were collected between March 2013-September 2014. 27 participants participated in group activity for 30 minutes twice a week over 12 weeks, 26 participated in the control group. Change in quality of life was assessed by local nurses through the Quality of Life in Late-Stage Dementia scale at baseline, after end of intervention and at 3 months follow-up. The scale and regular psychotropic medication were analysed stratified by dementia severity. Analysis using mixed model, one-way anova and linear regression were performed.


An effect was found among participants with severe dementia from baseline to follow-up showing stable quality of life in the intervention group compared with a decrease in the control group. The intervention explained most of the variance in change in the total scale and in the subscales describing Tension and Well-being for the group with severe dementia. The intervention group used significantly less psychotropic medication compared with the control group after end of intervention.


Pleasant and engaging activities facilitated by nursing staff, such as group activity with Paro, could improve quality of life in people with severe dementia. The trial is in adherence with the CONSORT statement and is registered at (study ID number: NCT01998490) [corrected].


Paro; dementia care; group activity; nursing; nursing home; quality of life; severe dementia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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