Cognitive stimulation therapy in the Italian context: Its efficacy in cognitive and non-cognitive measures in older adults with dementia

Emanuela Capotosto, Carmen Belacchi, Simona Gardini, Silvia Faggian, Federica Piras, Vanessa Mantoan, Elisa Salvalaio, Samantha Pradelli, Erika Borella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) has been shown to have significant benefits in enhancing cognitive functioning and improving the quality of life of people with mild to moderate dementia. The present study examines the efficacy of the Italian version of the therapy (CST-IT). Methods: Older adults with mild to moderate dementia (n=39) were randomly assigned to two programs: one group participated in the CST-IT, consisting of 14 sessions (twice a week for 7weeks) and the active control group took part in alternative general activities. The outcome measures were cognitive functioning (measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination-MMSE-, the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment scale-cognitive subscale, the backward digit span test, and a narrative language test); quality of life (Quality of life--Alzheimer's Disease scale); mood (Cornell scale for depression in dementia and the social and emotional loneliness scale); functional activities in daily living (Disability Assessment for Dementia); and behavior (neuropsychiatric inventory). Results: After the intervention, only the CST-IT group maintained its MMSE score, while the control group displayed deterioration. The CST-IT group also performed better in some of the cognitive measures (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale and narrative language), mood measures (Cornell scale, social and emotional loneliness scale with a decrease in reported loneliness), and the Quality of life--Alzheimer's Disease scale. No other treatment effect was observed. Conclusions: The findings confirm the efficacy, at least in the short term, of the CST in sustaining cognitive functions and perceived quality of life in older adults with dementia in the Italian care setting as well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Cognitive functioning
  • Cognitive stimulation therapy
  • Dementia
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive stimulation therapy in the Italian context: Its efficacy in cognitive and non-cognitive measures in older adults with dementia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this