A computer-aided program for helping patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease engage in verbal reminiscence

Giulio E. Lancioni, Nirbhay N. Singh, Mark F. O'Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos, Gabriele Ferlisi, Valeria Zullo, Simona Schirone, Raffaella Prisco, Floriana Denitto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study assessed a simple computer-aided program for helping patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease engage in verbal reminiscence. In practice, the program was aimed at fostering the patient's verbal engagement on a number of life experiences/topics previously selected for him or her and introduced in the sessions through a friendly female, who appeared on the computer screen. The female asked the patient about the aforementioned experiences/topics, and provided him or her with positive attention, and possibly verbal guidance (i.e., prompts/encouragements). Eight patients were involved in the study, which was carried out according to non-concurrent multiple baseline designs across participants. Seven of them showed clear improvement during the intervention phase (i.e., with the program). Their mean percentages of intervals with verbal engagement/reminiscence ranged from close to zero to about 15 during the baseline and from above 50 to above 75 during the intervention. The results were discussed in relation to previous literature on reminiscence therapy, with specific emphasis on the need for (a) replication studies and (b) the development of new versions of the technology-aided program to improve its impact and reach a wider number of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3026-3033
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Computer-aided program
  • Reminiscence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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