Using acupressure and Montessori-based activities to decrease agitation for residents with dementia: a cross-over trial.

Lin LC, Yang MH, Kao CC, Wu SC, Tang SH, Lin JG

The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of acupressure and Montessori-based activities in decreasing the agitated behaviors of residents with dementia. One hundred thirty-three institutionalized residents with dementia were randomized into three treatment sequences: acupressure-presence-Montessori methods, Montessori methods-acupressure-presence and presence-Montessori methods-acupressure. All treatments were done once a day, 6 days per week, for a 4-week period. After receiving the intervention, the acupressure and Montessori-based-activities groups saw a significant decrease in agitated behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and physically nonaggressive behaviors than the presence group. Additionally, the ease-of-care ratings for the acupressure and Montessori-based-activities groups were significantly better than for the presence group. In terms of apparent affect, positive affect in the Montessori-based-activities group was significantly better than in the presence group.

This study confirms that a blending of traditional Chinese medicine and a Western activities program would be useful in elderly care and that in-service training for formal caregivers in the use of these interventions would be beneficial for patients

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Jun;57(6):1022-9

Link to Abstract

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