Promoting participation and engagement for people with dementia through a cognitive stimulation therapy programme delivered by students: A descriptive qualitative study

Carolyn M. Murray, Susan Gilbert-Hunt, Angela Berndt, Lenore De La Perrelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Dementia can affect participation and engagement due to deprivation of cognitive, social and sensory stimulation. To meet this need, educators and a service provider collaborated for occupational therapy students to provide cognitive stimulation therapy for people with dementia. Method We used a published, evidence-based cognitive stimulation therapy programme called 'Making a Difference'. However, due to student availability, we adapted the programme to be conducted once weekly for 12 weeks by students in pairs. These services occurred in both community and residential settings. Following completion of the programme in 2012, perspectives of staff (n = 8), family carers (n = 5) and three people with dementia were sought about their involvement. Semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings We found three themes of 'something to talk about', 'it was a new relationship' and 'wanting to have a go'. Despite some initial concerns about people with dementia becoming stressed, the programme promoted social interactions, participation and engagement. The students adopted a relationship-centred approach with empathy and deliberate planning of sessions being important. Conclusion Through provision of the adapted Making a Difference programme, occupational therapy students were able to fulfil an unmet need while learning from their experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-628
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume79
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • activity programmes
  • Aged care
  • group work

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