The impact of past and present preferences on stimulus engagement in nursing home residents with dementia

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Marcia S. Marx, Khin Thein, Maha Dakheel-Ali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: We examined engagement with stimuli in 193 nursing home residents with dementia. We hypothesized that activities and stimuli based on a person's past and current preferences would result in more engagement than other activities/stimuli. Method: The expanded version of the self-identity questionnaire [Cohen-Mansfield, J., Golander, H. Arheim, G. (2000)] was used to determine participants' past/present interests (as reported by relatives) in the following areas: art, music, babies, pets, reading, television, and office work. We utilized the observational measurement of engagement (Cohen-Mansfield, J., Dakheel-Ali, M., Marx, M.S. (2009). Results: Analysis revealed that residents with current interests in music, art, and pets were more engaged by stimuli that reflect these interests than residents without these interests. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate the utility of determining a person's preferences for stimuli in order to predict responsiveness. Lack of prediction for some stimuli may reflect differences between past preferences and activities that are feasible in the present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingR01AG021497

    Keywords

    • Dementia
    • Engagement
    • Nursing home residents
    • Preferences

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