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Effects of creative expression therapy on Chinese elderly patients with dementia: an exploratory randomized controlled trial

Authors Lin R, Chen HY, Li H, Li J

Received 1 January 2019

Accepted for publication 24 April 2019

Published 30 July 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2171—2180

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S200045

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yu-Ping Ning


Rong Lin,1 Hui-Ying Chen,2 Hong Li,1,2 Jing Li2

1Department of Nursing, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of creative expression (CE) therapy on cognition, communication, emotion, and quality-of-life in people with dementia.
Methods: One hundred individuals were included in this study, of whom 91 completed the study (mean age=84.33). The participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=43) and a control group (n=48), and received the CE program or standard cognitive (SC) training twice a week for 6 weeks, respectively. Both groups were submitted to extensive neuropsychological tests, as follows – Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Quality of Life-Alzheimer’s Disease (QOL-AD), Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), Functional Assessment of Communication Skills (FACS) at baseline, 1-, and 4 -weeks post-intervention, and the Observed Emotion Rating Scale (OERS) was measured during the intervention period at weeks 3 and 6.
Results: The participants demonstrated significant improvements in cognitive function, quality-of-life, depression degree, communication ability, and emotion status (P<0.05) at post-intervention, which were maintained at 1-month follow-up.
Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that CE therapy developed in the study benefits elderly Chinese with dementia. The findings indicated that non-pharmacological intervention programs – CE therapy – can be applied in the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia.

Keywords: dementia, creative expression therapy, standard cognitive training, psycho-social intervention

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