Predictors of cognitive improvement after reality orientation in Alzheimer's disease

Orazio Zanetti, Monica Oriani, Cristina Geroldi, Giuliano Binetti, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Giuseppina Di Giovanni, Luc P. De Vreese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is increasing evidence to support the efficacy of reality orientation in cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The clinical characteristics of patients who respond to reality orientation are poorly understood; this knowledge could be important, given that the provision of reality orientation therapy is labour-intensive and may provoke emotional distress. Aim: to evaluate retrospectively which demographic and clinical characteristics of Alzheimer's patients predict cognitive outcomes. Method: We analysed 38 mild-to-moderately demented outpatients who regularly attended a one-month formal reality orientation programme. The mini mental state examination score changes from baseline-and immediately after-reality orientation were correlated with demographic and pre-treatment clinical characteristics by a linear regression analysis. Results: Short-term responsiveness to reality orientation was significantly predicted by a lower level of cognitive functioning (as measured by the mini mental state examination) at baseline and by the absence of euphoria, accounting together for 57.6% of variance. Conclusion: A lower mini mental state examination and the absence of euphoric behaviour in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease may predict a good cognitive outcome of reality orientation therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Euphoria
  • Frontal lobe syndrome
  • Predictor variables
  • Reality orientation
  • Short-term responsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing


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