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Reminiscence Therapy

Therapy shown to unlock memory of individuals with Alzheimer's disease


1. Alzheimer's Association (2007). Alzheimer's facts and figures. Retrieved Nov. 2007 from the World Wide Web:

2. Namazi, K.H. & Haynes, S.R. (1994). Sensory stimuli reminiscence for patients with Alzheimer's disease: relevance and implications. Clinical Gerontologist 14(4): 29-46.

3. Lai, C.K.Y., Chi, I., & Kayser-Jones, J. (2004). A randomized controlled trial of a specific reminiscence approach to promote the well-being of nursing home residents with dementia. International Psychogeriatrics 16(1): 33-49.

4. Nomura, T. (2002). Evaluative research on reminiscence groups for people with dementia. In J.D Webster & B.K. Haight (Eds.), Critical advances in reminiscence work: from theory to application. (pp. 289-299). New York: Springer Publishing Co.

5. Tadaka, E., & Kanagawa, K. (2007). Effects of reminiscence group in elderly people with Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia in a community setting. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 7, 167-173.

6. Tanaka, K., Yamada, Y., Kobayashi, Y., et al (2007). Improved cognitive function, mood and brain blood flow in single photon emission computed tomography following individual reminiscence therapy in an elderly patient with Alzheimer's disease. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 7, 305-309. Retrieved Jan. 15, 2007, from the World Wide Web: EBSCOhost database.

7. Brooker, D. & Duce, L. (2000). Wellbeing and activity in dementia: A comparison of group reminiscence therapy, structured goal-directed group activity and unstructured time. Aging and Mental Health 4(4): 354-358.

8. Marshall, M. J. & Hutchinson, S.A. (2001). A critique of research on the use of activities with persons with Alzheimer's disease: a systematic literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing 35(4): 488-496.

9. Bayles, K.A., Kim, E., Chapman, S.B., et al. (2006). Evidence-based practice recommendations for working with individuals with dementia: Simulated presence therapy. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology 14(3): 13-21.

10. Bohlmeijer, E., Smit, F., & Cuijpers, P (2003). Effects of reminiscence and life review on late-life depression: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 1088-1094.

11. Scogin, F., Portnoy, S., Head, D., & Jones, G.M.M. (1994). Efficacy of psychosocial treatments for geriatric depression: A quantitative review. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 62, 69-74.

12. Tabourne, C.E.S. (1995). The effects of a life review program on disorientation, social interaction and self-esteem of nursing home residents. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 41(3), 251-266.

13. Rogers, Patterson, Ivanoiu, & Hodges. (2006). Semantic memory in Alzheimer's disease and the frontotemporal dementias: a longitudinal study of 236 patients. Neuropsychology, 20(3), 319-35.

Sheila Lill is a nurse in Pennsylvania.  This article is based on research conducted for an honors project completed when she was a student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, in 2008. Pamela Adamshick, PhD, MS, RN, served as project advisor.

Reminiscence Therapy

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