Leisure activities alleviate depressive symptoms in nursing home residents with very mild or mild dementia

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

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether leisure activities can alleviate depressive symptoms among nursing home residents with very mild to mild dementia. METHODS: A cluster-randomized open-label controlled design. Thirty-six residents with at least moderate depressive symptoms were randomized by home into three conditions-mahjong (a.k.a. mah-jongg), tai chi, and handicrafts (placebo). Activities were conducted three times weekly for 12 weeks. Outcome measure was Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) administered at baseline, posttreatment, and at 6 months. RESULTS: Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed a group by time interaction on the GDS. Unlike control and tai chi participants whose scores remained relatively unchanged, the mahjong group reported a drop of 3.25 points (95% confidence interval: 1.00-5.50) on the GDS at posttreatment but gained back 2.83 points (95% confidence interval: 1.95-5.47) at 6 months. Activity discontinuation might be the reason for depression to return to baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Mahjong can lower depressive symptoms in those with mild dementia, but activity maintenance may be essential for long-term effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-908
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

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