A single blind randomized control trial on support groups for Chinese persons with mild dementia
Daniel KW Young,1 Timothy CY Kwok,2 Petrus YN Ng1
1Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong; 2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Purpose: Persons with mild dementia experience multiple losses and manifest depressive symptoms. This research study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a support group led by a social worker for Chinese persons with mild dementia.
Research methods: Participants were randomly assigned to either a ten-session support group or a control group. Standardized assessment tools were used for data collection at pretreatment and post-treatment periods by a research assistant who was kept blind to the group assignment of the participants. Upon completion of the study, 20 treatment group participants and 16 control group participants completed all assessments.
Results: At baseline, the treatment and control groups did not show any significant difference on all demographic variables, as well as on all baseline measures; over one-half (59%) of all the participants reported having depression, as assessed by a Chinese Geriatric Depression Scale score ≥8. After completing the support group, the depressive mood of the treatment group participants reduced from 8.83 (standard deviation =2.48) to 7.35 (standard deviation =2.18), which was significant (Wilcoxon signed-rank test; P=0.017, P<0.05), while the control group’s participants did not show any significant change.
Conclusion: This present study supports the efficacy and effectiveness of the support group for persons with mild dementia in Chinese society. In particular, this present study shows that a support group can reduce depressive symptoms for participants.
Keywords: support group, mild dementia, Chinese, depression
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