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The moderating effect of nutritional status on depressive symptoms in veteran elders with dementia: a spaced retrieval combined with Montessori-based activities

Authors

  • Hua-Shan Wu PhD RN,

    Assistant Professor, Research consulter
    1. School of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    2. Department of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Li-Chan Lin PhD RN

    Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Clinical and Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • School of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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Correspondence to L.-C. Lin: e-mail: lichan@ym.edu.tw

Abstract

Aim

To examine the long-term effects of fixed/individualized spaced retrieval combined with Montessori-based activities on nutritional status and body mass index and nutritional improvement's moderating effect on depressive symptoms for people with dementia during a specific follow-up period.

Background

The decrease in food intake, often combined with poor nutrition, may induce depressive symptoms in people with dementia.

Design

A single-blind, quasi-experimental study with repeated measures.

Methods

Twenty-five fixed group participants received spaced retrieval combined with Montessori-based activities over 24 sessions. Thirty-eight individualized group participants received the same intervention with different sessions, which was adjusted according to each participant's learning response. Twenty-seven control group participants just received routine care. The Chinese version of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment and Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia scores and body mass index were recorded at pre-test, posttest and 1-, 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Data were collected between July 2008–February 2010.

Results

The Mini-Nutritional Assessment scores and body mass index of the fixed and individualized groups could be significantly increased over time. Additionally, the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia scores could be significantly reduced as a result of the improvement of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment scores arising from the individualized intervention.

Conclusion

The depressive symptoms of residents with dementia could be moderated by the individualized intervention through nutritional improvement. Trained clinical nurse specialists can use this individualized intervention for residents with dementia who also have poor nutrition and depressive symptoms.

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