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Institutionalized dementia patients who Received a tailored educational program on good eating habits were more unlikely to reveal symptoms of depression 6 months later, results of a Taiwanese study indicated.

Mean scores on the Chinese variant of the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia diminished 0.73 points among patients assigned to an individualized program, whereas a control group receiving standard care showed an average Increase of 0.79 points, according to Li-Chan Lin, PhD, RN, of National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, and Hua-Shan Wu, PhD, RN, of Shan Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan.

A third study arm, in which patients received a non-personal Variant of the educational program, showed no change researchers reported online in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Nutritional status and body mass index additionally improved with the Fell in the control group, personalized program, and showed little Change together with the non-personalized plan, Lin and Wu indicated.

“The improvement in nutritional status could have led to reduced fatigue and increased energy,” they wrote. “Once the participants perceived the developments in their health, pessimism, the sense of multiple Sicknesses, hopelessness, if not worthlessness seldom appeared.”

Multiple facets of proper nutrition in many cases are compromised in dementia. As Lin and Wu explained, “identifying foods, transferring foods, Mastication, and swallowing” become increasingly burdensome for patients with cognitive deficits. Moreover, several previous studies have linked poor Nutritional status in healthy adults, to melancholy together with in those with dementia.

In the current study, Wu and Lin analyzed an approach combining a technique called “spaced retrieval” with Montessori-sort approaches Aimed at helping dementia patients eat more and eat frequently.

Spaced retrieval is a teaching method to assist individuals with information recall. It includes challenging the individual to recall something for increasing time intervals. If it’s successfully recalled a second, after 2 minutes Challenge will necessitate recall after 4 minutes. When recall fails, the challenge Is done at the last successful time.

Wu and Lin chose Montessori-based activities to reinforce healthful eating behaviours because cognitive capacities in dementia patients in some ways resemble those of young kids.

The mixture of the two techniques “activate the results of Repeat priming and procedural memory in the nondeclarative memory,” The researchers described, leading to development of customs that were desired.

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They randomized 90 patients to standard care or two versions of the program. Both variants were constructed around sessions continuing 35-40 minutes three times per week. The training focused on eight fundamental behaviors that were eating, from To swallowing after mastication, remembering mealtimes.

In the personal program, training was increasingly intensified For individual patients if they exhibited command at a given level. The Variety of sessions depended on individual patients’ needs, such that Whereas the players with mild dementia could receive up to 23 sessions Maximum in severe or moderate dementia was 35.

For patients – personalized program, training When more than half the participants had revealed intensity was stepped up Command. The amount of sessions was fixed at 24 over an 8-week Interval.

Patients were recruited in Taiwan from veterans’ homes. About 40 percent had scores on the Chinese variant of the Mini-Mental State Examination of 6 t0 11 (severe dementia), and another 40 percent had scores of 12 to 17 (moderate dementia).

Arm were taking antidepressants, 32 percent to 45 percent were taking antipsychotic Drugs, and 20 percent to 29 percent were on anti-anxiety drugs.

Mean BMI at baseline ranged from 20.3 to 22.9 in the three arms. Scores on the Chinese version of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment averaged 19.2 to 21.5. On the Cornell melancholy scale, mean baseline scores were 0.26 to 1.55.

Over the 6-month post-training evaluation interval, changes in Cornell And nutritional scores were strongly correlated in the individualized intervention group, with a R2
value of 0.44. Changes in nutritional scores correlated strongly and With nutritional scores at baseline, significantly in this group.

“The best improvement of nutritional status and depressive Symptoms caused by the personal intervention happened between the immediate post-training period as well as the 1-month followup,” Lin and Wu noted.

They proposed that, therefore, additional “booster sessions” may be useful in maintaining or raising the short term gains.

Constraints to the study included its restriction to residents of veterans’ homes and the little amount of consequence measures.

Source: Eating Helps Dementia Patients Avoid Melancholy

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