1. Singh Joy, Subhashni D.


According to this study:


* Different types of stimuli decrease agitation in nursing home residents with dementia.



Article Content

The use of stimuli was explored in this study as a way to reduce agitation in nursing home residents with dementia. Over the course of three weeks, 111 subjects at seven Maryland nursing homes participated in twice-daily sessions where they were presented with various stimuli (four per day). Research assistants recorded baseline observations of each participant for three minutes at either the morning or afternoon session. At the beginning of each session, participants were offered a stimulus and their level of agitation was recorded for three minutes thereafter. The 25 predetermined stimuli were presented in random order and categorized into eight groups: social (a real dog, for example), simulated social (a baby doll), manipulative (a puzzle), work related (towels to fold), task related (coloring), listening to music, reading a magazine, and self-identity (individualized to each participant).


All types of stimuli, except manipulative, significantly decreased total agitation compared with baseline observations. Social, task-related, and reading stimuli were significantly more effective in reducing total agitation than were simulated social, work-related, and manipulative stimuli. Music and self-identity stimuli reduced agitation more than manipulative stimuli but less than social stimuli. In addition, all types of stimuli decreased physical agitation whereas only social, task-related, reading, self-identity, and music stimuli significantly reduced verbal agitation.


The authors conclude that any stimuli decreased agitation, particularly physical agitation, compared with usual care (no stimulation).


Cohen-Mansfield J, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2010;58(8):1459-64.