Using the Life Story Book With Mentally Alert Residents of Nursing Homes


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Depression and lack of meaning in life (MIL) are common among residents of nursing homes (NHs) and contribute to a reduction in overall health and well-being. Life Story Book (LSB), a reminiscence intervention, is designed to provide a person with the opportunity to review their past and capture their life stories and photographs into a book. LSB has demonstrated positive outcomes for residents of NHs with dementia, yet little is known for residents without dementia. A switching replication design was used to examine the effects of LSB among 21 mentally alert residents from two NHs (NH-A and NH-B) in Houston, Texas. Participants in NH-A received three weeks of the LSB intervention, while NH-B received three weeks of care-as-usual; the intervention was then switched. The GDS-12R and the MIL questionnaire (MLQ) were used to measure depressive symptoms and MIL respectively. Participants from NH-A (n =11) and NH-B (n = 10) had a mean age of 75 years (SD =11.34); 81% female; 52% non-Hispanic white and 33% African American. Results from a one-way MANCOVA found no statistically significant difference on the GDS-12R and MLQ (F(3, 14) = 2.50, p = .102; Wilks’ Lambda = .652; η2 = .35). Further analyses comparing the pre-intervention and post-intervention scores for the entire sample (N =21) found a significant reduction in depressive symptoms (M = 2.67; SD = 2.52) and (M =1.67, SD = 2.29); (t (20) = 2.21, p = 0.039). The potential benefits of LSB for mentally alert residents of NHs warrants further research.

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