An exploratory study of the effect of mahjong on the cognitive functioning of persons with dementia

Sheung Tak CHENG, Cheung Ming, Alfred CHAN, Edwin C. S. YU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To explore the effect of an activity treatment—mahjong—on the cognitive functioning of persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Method: Participants were 62 older persons (Mage = 83.94, SD = 7.58) who met DSM-IV diagnosis of any dementia condition, had an initial Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≤ 24, and were able to play, yet not having played mahjong for the past six months. They were randomly assigned to play either twice (n = 33) or four times (n = 29) a week over a 16-week duration. Digit forward span, digit forward sequence, verbal memory and MMSE were measured at baseline, post-test and 1-month follow-up. Results: Regardless of frequency of playing, mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures. It had large effect sizes on digit forward memory (1.0–1.4 for both span and sequence), moderate-to-large effect sizes on verbal memory (0.5–0.9), and a moderate effect size on MMSE (around 0.6). The effects lasted after mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained. Conclusion: Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia. Because mahjong therapy basically does not require professional supervision and can be implemented as widely as space allows at a given time, the potential benefits of integrating mahjong into the daily routines of an institution are enormous vis-à-vis minimal, if any, cost to the institution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006

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Dementia
Therapeutic Uses
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Costs and Cost Analysis
Therapeutics
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Cite this

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title = "An exploratory study of the effect of mahjong on the cognitive functioning of persons with dementia",
abstract = "Objective: To explore the effect of an activity treatment—mahjong—on the cognitive functioning of persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Method: Participants were 62 older persons (Mage = 83.94, SD = 7.58) who met DSM-IV diagnosis of any dementia condition, had an initial Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≤ 24, and were able to play, yet not having played mahjong for the past six months. They were randomly assigned to play either twice (n = 33) or four times (n = 29) a week over a 16-week duration. Digit forward span, digit forward sequence, verbal memory and MMSE were measured at baseline, post-test and 1-month follow-up. Results: Regardless of frequency of playing, mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures. It had large effect sizes on digit forward memory (1.0–1.4 for both span and sequence), moderate-to-large effect sizes on verbal memory (0.5–0.9), and a moderate effect size on MMSE (around 0.6). The effects lasted after mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained. Conclusion: Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia. Because mahjong therapy basically does not require professional supervision and can be implemented as widely as space allows at a given time, the potential benefits of integrating mahjong into the daily routines of an institution are enormous vis-{\`a}-vis minimal, if any, cost to the institution.",
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An exploratory study of the effect of mahjong on the cognitive functioning of persons with dementia. / CHENG, Sheung Tak; CHAN, Cheung Ming, Alfred; YU, Edwin C. S.

In: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 21, No. 7, 01.07.2006, p. 611-617.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - CHAN, Cheung Ming, Alfred

AU - YU, Edwin C. S.

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N2 - Objective: To explore the effect of an activity treatment—mahjong—on the cognitive functioning of persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Method: Participants were 62 older persons (Mage = 83.94, SD = 7.58) who met DSM-IV diagnosis of any dementia condition, had an initial Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≤ 24, and were able to play, yet not having played mahjong for the past six months. They were randomly assigned to play either twice (n = 33) or four times (n = 29) a week over a 16-week duration. Digit forward span, digit forward sequence, verbal memory and MMSE were measured at baseline, post-test and 1-month follow-up. Results: Regardless of frequency of playing, mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures. It had large effect sizes on digit forward memory (1.0–1.4 for both span and sequence), moderate-to-large effect sizes on verbal memory (0.5–0.9), and a moderate effect size on MMSE (around 0.6). The effects lasted after mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained. Conclusion: Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia. Because mahjong therapy basically does not require professional supervision and can be implemented as widely as space allows at a given time, the potential benefits of integrating mahjong into the daily routines of an institution are enormous vis-à-vis minimal, if any, cost to the institution.

AB - Objective: To explore the effect of an activity treatment—mahjong—on the cognitive functioning of persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Method: Participants were 62 older persons (Mage = 83.94, SD = 7.58) who met DSM-IV diagnosis of any dementia condition, had an initial Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≤ 24, and were able to play, yet not having played mahjong for the past six months. They were randomly assigned to play either twice (n = 33) or four times (n = 29) a week over a 16-week duration. Digit forward span, digit forward sequence, verbal memory and MMSE were measured at baseline, post-test and 1-month follow-up. Results: Regardless of frequency of playing, mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures. It had large effect sizes on digit forward memory (1.0–1.4 for both span and sequence), moderate-to-large effect sizes on verbal memory (0.5–0.9), and a moderate effect size on MMSE (around 0.6). The effects lasted after mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained. Conclusion: Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia. Because mahjong therapy basically does not require professional supervision and can be implemented as widely as space allows at a given time, the potential benefits of integrating mahjong into the daily routines of an institution are enormous vis-à-vis minimal, if any, cost to the institution.

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JO - International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

JF - International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

SN - 0885-6230

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ER -