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Beneficial effects of multisensory and cognitive stimulation in institutionalized elderly: 12-months follow-up

Authors de Macedo L, De Oliveira TC, Cabral Soares F, Bento-Torres J, Bento-Torres N, Clive Anthony D, Picanço-Diniz CW

Received 1 April 2015

Accepted for publication 14 May 2015

Published 19 August 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1351—1360


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Liliane Dias E Dias de Macedo,1 Thaís Cristina Galdino De Oliveira,1 Fernanda Cabral Soares,1 João Bento-Torres,1,2 Natáli Valim Oliver Bento-Torres,1,2 Daniel Clive Anthony,3 Cristovam Wanderley Picanço-Diniz1

1Laboratory of Investigations in Neurodegeneration and Infection, Institute of Biological Sciences, University Hospital João de Barros Barreto, Federal University of Pará, 2College of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Federal University of Para, Belem, Para, Brazil; 3Laboratory of Experimental Neuropathology, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK

Abstract: We previously demonstrated the beneficial effects of a multisensory and cognitive stimulation program, consisting of 48 sessions, twice a week, to improve the cognition of elderly subjects living either in long-term care institutions (institutionalized – I) or in communities with their families (noninstitutionalized – NI). In the present study, we evaluated these subjects after the end of the intervention and compared the rate of age-related cognitive decline of those living in an enriched community environment (NI group, n=15, 74.1±3.9 years old) with those living in the impoverished environment of long-term care institutions (I group, n=20, 75.1±6.8 years old). Both groups participated fully in our stimulation program. Over 1 year, we conducted revaluations at five time points (2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, and 12 months) after the completion of the intervention. Both elderly groups were evaluated with the mini-mental state examination and selected language tests. Progressive cognitive decline was observed in both groups over the period. Indeed, it took only 4–6 months after the end of the stimulation program for significant reductions in language test scores to become apparent. However, earlier reductions in test scores were mainly associated with I group, and linguistic prosody test scores were significantly affected by institutionalization and time, two variables that interacted and reduced these scores. Moreover, I group reduced the Montréal cognitive assessment battery language tests scores 4 months before NI group. It remains to be investigated what mechanisms may explain the earlier and more intense language losses in institutionalized elderly.

Keywords: age-related cognitive impairment, multisensory and cognitive stimulation, long-term care institutions, community living, language assessment

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