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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1998;47(2):119-42.

Life review: preventing despair in newly relocated nursing home residents short- and long-term effects.

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Medical University of South Carolina, College of Nursing, USA.


Relocation to a nursing home places frail elders at risk for developing depression and suicide ideation. This study followed two hundred and fifty-six newly relocated nursing home residents for five years. Using a Solomon Four research design, participants were divided into four groups, two control and two experimental, one each with pretesting and all with posttesting. Participants in the control groups received a friendly visit and those in the experimental groups received the intervention of life review. Immediate short-term results showed the life review to be an effective preventive intervention for clinical depression (p = .05). Additionally, when looking at long-term effects at one year, there were significant decrease in depression (p = .05), hopelessness (p = .01), and psychological well-being (p = .02) with measurable increases in life satisfaction (p = .08). These findings support the hypothesis that life review prevents despair in frail elders newly admitted to a nursing home.

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