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Keywords:

  • spaced retrieval;
  • Montessori-based activities;
  • eating difficulty;
  • dementia

Abstract

Objectives

To construct a training protocol for spaced retrieval (SR) and to investigate the effectiveness of SR and Montessori-based activities in decreasing eating difficulty in older residents with dementia.

Methods

A single evaluator, blind, and randomized control trial was used. Eighty-five residents with dementia were chosen from three special care units for residents with dementia in long-term care facilities in Taiwan. To avoid any confounding of subjects, the three institutions were randomized into three groups: spaced retrieval, Montessori-based activities, and a control group. The invention consisted of three 30–40 min sessions per week, for 8 weeks.

Results

After receiving the intervention, the Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation in Dementia (EdFED) scores and assisted feeding scores for the SR and Montessori-based activity groups were significantly lower than that of the control group. However, the frequencies of physical assistance and verbal assistance for the Montessori-based activity group after intervention were significantly higher than that of the control group, which suggests that residents who received Montessori-based activity need more physical and verbal assistance during mealtimes. In terms of the effects of nutritional status after intervention, Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA) in the SR group was significantly higher than that of the control group.

Conclusion

This study confirms the efficacy of SR and Montessori-based activities for eating difficulty and eating ability. A longitudinal study to follow the long-term effects of SR and Montessori-based activities on eating ability and nutritional status is recommended. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.