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behavior competence, depression, group reminiscence, physical function



  1. Hsu, Ya-Chuan
  2. Wang, Jing-Jy


Background: Depression among institutionalized elders is a common problem associated with physical and functional limitations, and effective interventions are needed.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of group reminiscence on physical function, behavioral competence, and depression among clinically depressed, institutionalized elders.


Methods: A two-group, random-assignment quasi-experimental study was conducted in four long-term care facilities in southern Taiwan. The experimental group (n = 21) received six to eight group reminiscence sessions over 2 months compared with a routine care control group (n = 24). Outcome measurements included the Behavioral Rating Scale, Barthel's Index, and the Geriatric Depression Scale-short form.


Results: Reminiscence sessions resulted in a significant 2-point decrease in theGeriatric Depression Scale-short form (p = .002) and improved behavioral competence (p = .001). No change was identified in functional ability.


Conclusions: Group reminiscence is a therapeutic intervention for depressed, institutionalized elders that can be managed by trained nursing staff. It is a cost-effective approach to improve psychosocial well-being for institutionalized older people. Additional research is needed on a larger sample across different diseases and cultural groups.