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Title: The use of multi-sensory stimulation to improve functional performance in older people with dementia : a randomised single blind trial
Author: Collier, Lesley
ISNI:       0000 0001 3560 4494
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2007
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Dementia affects over 750,000 people in the UK (Alzheimer’s society, 2003). Clinicians and healthcare managers report dissatisfaction with current healthcare options available for people with dementia (Stubbings & Sharp, 1999). Multisensory Environments (MSEs) utilising advanced sensory stimulating equipment targeting the senses, have been successfully used in dementia care, severe learning disabilities and palliative care (Baker et al, 1997). Despite this, no controlled studies have been conducted to explore the efficacy of this intervention on functional performance. This study explores to what extent, if any, MSEs influence function, mood and behaviour of people with moderate / severe dementia compared with a control activity (gardening). In addition, sensory needs were identified using the Adult Sensory Profile to explore whether sensory preferences are associated with improved performance. Participants were selected from people with a diagnosis of moderate / severe dementia. They were randomly allocated to one of two groups (MSE or gardening). Following baseline assessment, each participant attended their allocated intervention 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Assessment was carried out before and after each session using the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (function) and the Neurobehavioural Rating Scale (mood and behaviour). Results revealed a significant main effect of intervention in both function and mood and behaviour. Sessional analysis revealed significant improvement in motor performance for the MSE group. Overall, both activities were found to improve function and mood and behaviour. Participants who attended the MSE group and improved significantly in function fell within the low registration quadrant of the sensory profile. This suggests that the MSE is more suitable for those who require increased sensory stimulation. This study supports the use of sensory activity for people with moderate / severe dementia and recommends the use of the PAL and Adult Sensory Profile to plan and facilitate activity.
Supervisor: Bucks, Romola ; McPherson, Kathryn ; Ellis-Hill, Caroline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry ; RT Nursing