Non-Pharmacological Therapies in People with Alzheimer Dementia: Comparing Hand Massage and Conversational Approach in the Italian Context
Alzheimers Disease & Dementia
Objectives: Non-pharmacological therapies have shown to have significant benefits in reducing behavioral psychological symptoms in people with dementia. This is a pilot study to compare the efficacy of two nonpharmacological treatments in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) with behavioral psychological symptoms: hand massage and conversational approach. Method: Older adults with mild-to moderate dementia (N = 22) were randomly assigned to two treatments: hand massage and
... and massage and conversational approach. Both of groups attended two sessions twice a day for 4 weeks. The outcome measures were related to behavioral psychological symptoms in dementia (measured with Neuropsychiatric Inventory-NPI-and Agitated Behavior Scale-ABS). Results: Both treatments reduced on NPI and ABS measures. In particular both groups showed a significant reduction in the level of following NPI items: agitation, irritability and motor activity. Caregiver distress also reduced. Hand massage group, compared with conversational approach showed a more significant reduction on motor activity. Related to ABS, hand massage group compared with conversational group showed a significant reduction on level of impatient, rocking, wandering, rapid speech, restlessness with an increase of collaboration. Conclusion: This is a pilot study and other researches have to be conducted, but the results confirm the efficacy of two non-pharmacological treatments, a promising intervention to sustain clinical practice with people with dementia.