The effects of an expanded cognitive stimulation therapy model on the improvement of cognitive ability of elderly with mild stage Dementia living in a community - a randomized waitlist controlled trial

Daniel Kim-Wan Young, Petrus Yat-Nam Ng, Timothy Kwok, Florence Ho, Daphne Cheng, Vivan Mak, Andrew Lau
Aging & Mental Health 2018 May 21, : 1-8

OBJECTIVE: This research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an expanded cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) model that combines a CST group and tai chi on improving the cognitive ability of community-dwelling Chinese elderly with mild stage dementia (EwMD).

METHOD: A randomized waitlist controlled trial design was adopted in this study. The treatment group participated in a structured CST group followed by tai chi twice a week, with a total of 14 sessions throughout the study period. The waitlist control group received treatment as usual at the initial stage and expanded CST model at a later stage. The Chinese Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS) and the Chinese Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) were used to assess the cognitive ability of EwMD in the pre- and post- treatment periods.

RESULTS: At baseline, the treatment group (n = 51) and control group (n = 50) did not differ significantly in any demographic or clinical variables. Overall, the participants had a mean baseline MMSE score of 20.67 (SD = 2.30). The 2 × 2 repeated measures ANCOVA demonstrated that the treatment group was significantly more effective than the control group in improving the MMSE score (F = 12.31, p< .01) with a moderate effect size (partial eta square = .11) after controlling for group difference in age, gender, education, and having a diagnosis of dementia.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates the effectiveness of the expanded CST model on the improvement of cognitive ability of community-dwelling EwMD. More research is needed to further investigate this intervention model across cultures and societies.

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