This randomized controlled study tested the effectiveness of individualized activities, led by certified nursing assistants (CNAs), to increase positive affect and reduce negative affect and behavior among nursing home residents (NH) living with dementia. Residents with mild to advanced dementia (n = 180) were randomly assigned to usual care (n = 93) or 1 of 2 experimental conditions. Results show that residents were happier and less angry during an individualized positive psychosocial intervention compared with a standardized intervention. Even brief CNA-led individualized activities were effective in enhancing positive affect and engagement in persons with dementia.

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https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/70/1/35/547934

Funder(s)

Alzheimer’s Association Tacrine Fund (TRG-95-006), Pennsylvania Department of Health (4100054858)

Citation

VanHaitsma, K. S., Curyto, K., Abbott, K. M., Towsley, G. L., Spector, A., & Kleban, M. (2015). A randomized controlled trial for an individualized positive psychosocial intervention for the affective and behavioral symptoms of dementia in nursing home residents. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70(1), 35–45, doi:10.1093/geronb/gbt102

Team Members as Authors

Members of the the PELI Team who contributed to this publication.

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D.

Avatar for Dennis Cheatham

Dennis Cheatham

Communication Director

Director, Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care

Associate Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D.

Katherine Abbott, Ph.D, MGS

Avatar for Dennis Cheatham

Dennis Cheatham

Communication Director

Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Professor, Scripps Research Fellow

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Gerontology

Katherine Abbott, Ph.D, MGS