Medical Definition for Reminiscence Therapy

For communication measures, there may have been a benefit of RT at the end of treatment (SMD -0.51 points, 95% CI -0.97 to -0.05; I2 = 62%; negative values indicated improvement; 6 studies; 249 participants), but there were inconsistencies between studies related to the RT modality. In follow-up, there was probably a small benefit of RT (SMD -0.49 points, 95% CI -0.77 to -0.21; 4 studies; 204 participants). Effects were uncertain for individual RT, with very low-quality evidence available. For the reminiscence groups, moderate-quality evidence immediately showed a likely mild benefit (SMD -0.39, 95% CI -0.71 to -0.06; 4 studies; 153 participants) and at subsequent follow-up. Community participants likely benefited at the end of treatment and follow-up. For participants in nursing homes, results were inconsistent across studies, and although there may be improvement in follow-up, the quality of evidence at the end of treatment was very low and the effects were uncertain. Around the same time, the growing interest in oral history led to the fact that the memories of older people were more appreciated. In the United Kingdom, the development of the tape package “Recall” (Help the Aged 1981) led to the widespread use of memory triggers in nurseries, nursing homes and hospitals, which prompted many staff to establish a form of memory work of varying quality. There has also been interest in using reminiscence to guide environmental design on the grounds that, for example, a nursing home living room that resembled an early life salon might look more familiar and lead to better maintenance of independence. One of the questions to be improved through reminiscence therapy is whether the gains are due to the actual type of therapy used (reminders of certain subjects) or whether it is simply the increase in social interactions with peers that causes the progress of cognition and general mood.

A 2008 study looked at this using an experimental group treated with reminiscence therapy and a control group in which they also had group conversations about everyday topics. MMSE was used to determine the extent of dementia prior to the study, and as the 2007 study examined the cognitive and affective effect of memory and speech therapies on both groups. For cognition, groups were given a four-part verbal fluency test. To assess participants` mood, quality of life, and interest in treatment, the study used the Todai-shiki Observational Rating Scale (TORS), and to self-report their overall satisfaction, participants took daycare at St. Marianna Hospital. The cognition results were consistent with the 2007 study, with the reminiscence group remembering more words before the test. However, the control conversation group found a decrease in words recovered before and after the test, supporting the argument that it is the actual type of therapy that causes the positive cognitive effect, and not just a conversation with peers. Finally, the study also showed improvements in TORS and the daycare assessment table for the reminiscence group compared to the control group, meaning that participants were happier, had a better quality of life, and were more attentive to treatment compared to the results of the control group.

[46] Nine studies measured the difference in cognitive scores between the reminiscence and control groups over a longer follow-up period of six to 84 weeks after the intervention. This included 983 participants, including 561 in the intervention groups and 422 in the control groups. There was little or no difference in outcomes between groups (SMD 0.04, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.17; I2 = 3%; high-quality evidence; Analysis 1.21). For the five studies that reported MMSE, there may have been an improvement in follow-up of six to 36 weeks (MD 1.8 points, 95% CI -0.06 to 3.65; I2 = 0%; 282 participants; low-quality evidence), where the quality score was reduced due to relatively small sample size and inaccuracy. Reminiscence therapy is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “the use of life stories – written, oral, or both – to improve mental well-being. The therapy is often used in the elderly. [4] This form of therapeutic intervention respects the life and experiences of the individual with the goal of helping the patient maintain good mental health. Five studies (all with reminiscence groups) examined the effects of reminiscence on quality of life at a subsequent follow-up of six to 21 months (Amieva 2016; Azcurra, 2012; Charlesworth, 2016; Särkämö 2013; Woods, 2012a).

This analysis included 499 participants who received a reminiscence intervention and 375 who received a control intervention. We could not determine whether reminiscence was associated with an effect on self-reported quality of life at follow-up. Results were inconsistent across studies and meta-analysis results were inaccurate and consistent with improvement or mild adverse effect (random-effects analysis; SMD 0.35, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.80; I2 = 89%; moderate-quality evidence; Analysis 1.17). Reminiscence therapy involves both the patient and the caregiver, involves all the senses, and uses both verbal and nonverbal communication. This can be a hands-on experience for everyone involved and it is often important to use “props”. Reminiscence therapy is often used in a nursing home or “geriatric health facility.” [18] [19] [20] [21] The structure of reminiscence therapy can be very different. [5] In a documented session, a therapist played various songs from the 1920s to the 1960s and asked patients which songs resonated or had a particular meaning. At another session of the same therapist, participants shared photos and had a show about why images were important to them. [21] Memory work, including life examination, has always been useful for older adults in a depressed mood (Bohlmeijer 2003; Pinquart, 2007). The effects are comparable to those of drugs and other psychosocial approaches. The life test may also be useful in preventing depression in older adults (Pot 2010) and in improving life satisfaction and quality of life (QoL) in older adults in general (Bohlmeijer 2007).

The effects are also seen in low-mooded older adults living in long-term care facilities (Zhang 2015). Since depressed mood is more common in people with dementia, memory work in dementia can be helpful in terms of mood improvement. Originally, the reminiscence was intended for the elderly. However, this therapy also proves to be a valuable tool for adults in the early stages of life. In the elderly, improved life and self-satisfaction, self-esteem, increased social engagement, which led to an improvement in their ability to cope with social situations, less loneliness and alienation. [19] In addition, depressive symptoms, psychological symptoms, psychological well-being, ego integrity, meaning/purpose in life, mastery, cognitive performance, social integration, preparation for death showed improvements after completion of therapy. In later depression, other indicators of mental health, well-being, ego integrity, cognitive performance, and preparation for death had to be improved compared to pretreatment. [47] Improvements comparable to those observed in older adults have been found in studies of younger age groups. [47] Improvements in depression occur in both women[31] and men. [20] Gender-based analyses of the effects of reminiscence therapy found no evidence of a difference in therapeutic success between the sexes. [47] Reminiscence therapy was conducted in groups composed of residents of group centres and residents of larger communities. Recent analyses suggest that there are no differences in memory outcomes between the type of community in which individuals live during the therapy period,[47] contradicting previous findings that people living in group homes or care facilities benefited less from these programs.

[49] Those who experienced various important life events showed better psychological stability, including decreased depressive symptoms and anxiety. [51] Older male Veterans living in institutions showed improved self-esteem and life satisfaction, as well as decreased symptoms of depression who participated in a 12-week reminiscence therapy program compared to those who did not. [20] Reminiscence therapy (RRT) was introduced into dementia care in the late 1970s (Kiernat, 1979; Norris, 1986) and has taken various forms.