Group activities improve mental function in mild to moderate dementia, study finds

February 16, 2012

Structured group activities designed to stimulate cognition has shown to be effective in stimulating cognition in people with mild or moderate stage dementia, according to a study recently published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews.

British researchers reviewd data from 15 separate studies with 718 people in which groups of patients with dementia participated in structured group activities such as baking, games, art and show-and-tell. Activities took place up to 5 times per week and lasted 30 to 90 minutes. Following the study, participants took tests evaluating cognitive performance.

Those who participated in  cognitive activity groups scored one or two points higher than non-cognitive activity participants.

“This is showing the people who work in memory care communities and nursing homes and assisted living facilities that they can improve cognitive function, and they need to be providing these kinds of interventions,” neuroscientist Robert Winningham, Ph.D., told Reuters.

Click here to read the full study.