• depressive symptoms;
  • elderly;
  • group reminiscence therapy;
  • intervention;
  • male veterans


The purpose of this study was to use group reminiscence therapy (GRT) as a nursing intervention to evaluate the post-test, 3-month and 6-month effects on depressive symptoms for institutionalised male veterans after a 4-week intervention.


A quasi-experimental design and purposive sampling was conducted at a veteran's nursing home in Northern Taiwan. A total of 21 male veterans were studied to measure the effect of GRT. Eleven participants were in the experimental group and 10 in the control group. The experimental group activity was held twice weekly for 4 weeks. The Taiwan Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms and geriatric depression among male veterans. The generalised estimating equation was used for data analysis.


The male veterans in this study had a mean age of 82 years (SD = 5.8); 47.62% were between 70 and 79 years old, 61.90% were illiterate and 90.48% were without a partner. After 4 weeks of GRT, the experimental group significantly improved their depressive symptoms and geriatric depression in the post-test, 3-month and 6-month follow-up data compared with the control group. These activities can reduce their depressive symptoms following the intervention.


A 4-week, eight-session GRT can effectively reduce depressive symptoms among institutionalised male veterans for a 6-month period. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.