Self-management group rehab benefits persons with dementia

April 14, 2016

(HealthDay)—Self-management group rehabilitation is beneficial for persons with dementia (PwD) and their spouses, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Marja-Liisa Laakkonen, M.D., Ph.D., from Laakso Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues conducted a in primary care and memory clinics involving 136 PwD and their 136 spouses. Couples were randomly allocated to receive usual care or eight weekly sessions of self-management group rehabilitation.

The researchers found that the spouse physical component of the RAND-36 improved for those undergoing the and worsened for controls at three months (P = 0.006 after adjustment for age, sex, and baseline value). No between-group differences were seen on the mental component of the RAND-36, the Spousal Sense of Competence Questionnaire, or the 15-dimensional health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of PwD instrument. PwD change in verbal fluency was −0.38 in the and −1.60 in the control group at nine months (P = 0.011 after adjustment for age, sex, and Mini-Mental State Examination score); similar scores were seen on the Clock Drawing Test. Differences in incremental costs between the groups were −436€ and −896€ per person per year for PwD (P = 0.35) and spouses (P = 0.51), respectively.

"The intervention had beneficial effects on the HRQoL of and the cognitive function of PwD without increasing total costs," the authors write.

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