An Implementation Study of Reminiscence in Dementia Care


  • Gabrielle C. Ciquier
  • Nicole Caza


The goal of this mixed methods study was to identify factors affecting successful implementation of a group reminiscence intervention led by professional caregivers for persons with dementia residing in a long-term care (LTC) facility and their family members. Implementation outcome variables included fidelity, feasibility, adoption, appropriateness, sustainability, and acceptability of reminiscence as a group intervention, and were measured using nominal group technique interviews to collect opinions of both professional caregivers and family members. A subsidiary goal was to gather quantitative data on the effectiveness of reminiscence in improving mental health and quality of life (QoL) of persons with dementia using a pre-post intervention design. Results indicated high fidelity and feasibility for reminiscence as a group intervention in dementia care. Both groups of participants considered the intervention to be appropriate. The adoption of reminiscence as an activity might be limited by a lack of confidence of the professional caregivers in their abilities to conduct a group intervention. Family members shared this opinion. The professional caregivers also expressed potential difficulty in integrating reminiscence in their work routine, thus diminishing its acceptability in dementia care. For family members, the sustainability of the program may depend on their level of implication in the development and organization of the intervention sessions. Results also showed significant improvements (Wilcoxon p < .05) in apathy, as self-measured by the residents, and in anxiety, as measured by the professional caregivers. Apathy symptoms as measured by the professional caregivers, however, did not show a significant decrease post-intervention. Family members reported an improvement in their relative’s QoL one week post-intervention, whereas the residents reported improvement in their QoL three months post-intervention. Results showed that a group reminiscence intervention was not only possible but also beneficial to residents with dementia.