Effectiveness of group reminiscence for improving wellbeing of institutionalized elderly adults: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Andrea Gaggioli, Chiara Scaratti, Luca Morganti, Marco Stramba-Badiale, Monica Agostoni, Chiara A M Spatola, Enrico Molinari, Pietro Cipresso, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Group reminiscence therapy is a brief and structured intervention in which participants share personal past events with peers. This approach has been shown to be promising for improving wellbeing and reducing depressive symptoms among institutionalized older adults. However, despite the considerable interest in reminiscence group therapy, controlled studies to determine its specific benefits as compared to generic social interactions with peers (group conversations about everyday subjects) are still lacking. Methods/Design: We have designed a randomized controlled trial aimed at comparing the effects of group reminiscence therapy with those of group recreational activity on the psychological wellbeing of an institutionalized sample of older adults. The study includes two groups of 20 hospitalized elderly participants: the experimental group and the control group. Participants included in the experimental group will receive six sessions of group reminiscence therapy, while the control group will participate in a recreational group discussion. A repeated-measures design will be used post-intervention and three months post-intervention to evaluate changes in self-reported outcome measures of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and quality of life from baseline. Discussion: The protocol of a study aimed at examining the specific effects of group reminiscence therapy on psychological wellbeing, depression, and quality of life among institutionalized elderly people is described. It is expected that the outcomes of this trial will contribute to our knowledge about the process of group reminiscence, evaluate its effectiveness in improving psychological wellbeing of institutionalized individuals, and identify the best conditions for optimizing this approach. Trial registration: This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (registration number: NCT02077153) on 31 January 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number408
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2014


  • Group Activities
  • Group Reminiscence
  • Older Adults
  • Reminiscence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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