The effects of instrumental reminiscence on resilience and coping in elderly

Juan C Meléndez, Flor B Fortuna, Alicia Sales, Teresa Mayordomo
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2015, 60 (2): 294-8

OBJECTIVES: Aging, as a stage of development is marked by major changes to which the subject must adapt. Instrumental reminiscence is based on recalling times one coped with stressful circumstances, and analyzing what it took to adapt in those situations. The purpose of the present study was to analyze the effectiveness of an instrumental reminiscent program to enhance adaptive capacity (problem-focused coping and emotion-focused) and resilience in older adults.

METHOD: Thirty participants noninstitutionalized conducted a pre and post assessment on a treatment consisting of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Brief Resilient Coping Scale and Stress Coping Questionnaire (CAE). The program was developed over 8 sessions of 60 min.

RESULTS: Repeated measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in time-group interaction for treatment effectiveness of resilience measures, problem-solving coping, positive reappraisal and avoidance coping that it increased, and on emotion-focused coping and overt emotional expression that gets decreased after treatment.

CONCLUSION: The instrumental reminiscence has proven to be a highly useful tool and is a potentially efficient way to improve adaptive capacity and resilience in the elderly to cope with adverse situations. Through non-pharmacological therapies, the quality of life has been improved, and subjects are provided with tools, strategies and skills that allow to achieve a satisfactory adaptation.

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