Background: Individuals suffering from dementia and residing in nursing homes often feel lonely and bored. This study examined the engagement and mood of people with dementia in group activities, and how personal characteristics, such as cognitive function, may impact on an individual's responses to group activities. Methods: The study included 102 participants, who took part in group activities while their mood and engagement levels were observed. Participants were invited to attend 10 different types of group activities, each of which was offered twice. Results: Results found improved engagement and mood during group activities as compared to control no-group times. Significant relationships between the type of activity and ratings of engagement and mood were also found. Although participants with higher levels of cognitive functioning manifested greater responsiveness to groups, the pattern of response to different contents did not differ by cognitive function. Conclusions: This study shows the potential utility of group activities for improving quality of life of persons with dementia and demonstrates a methodology that can be used for quality improvement to optimize group contents. Future research should expand the range of contents of group activities in order to enhance the options for improving mood and engagement of individuals with dementia.
- Cognitive impairment
- Group activities