Psychological and mnemonic benefits of nostalgia for people with dementia

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Ismail, S. , Christopher, G. , Dodd, E. , Wildschut, T. , Sedikides, C. , Ingram, T. , Jones, R. , Noonan, K. , Tingley, D. and Cheston, R. and University of the West of England, University of Southampton, RICE - The Research Institute for Care of Older People (2018) Psychological and mnemonic benefits of nostalgia for people with dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 65 (4). pp. 1327-1344. ISSN 1387-2877 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/37293

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Abstract/Description

Background: Studies with non-clinical populations show that nostalgia increases psychological resources, such as self-esteem and social connectedness. Objectives: Our objectives were to find out if the benefits of nostalgia in non-clinical populations generalize to people with dementia and if nostalgia facilitates recall of dementia-related information. Methods: All three experiments recruited participants with mild or moderate levels of dementia. Experiment 1 tested whether nostalgia (compared to control) enhances psychological resources among 27 participants. Experiment 2 used music to induce nostalgia (compared to control) in 29 participants. Experiment 3 compared recall for self-referent dementia statements among 50 participants randomized to either a nostalgia or control condition. Findings across experiments were synthesized with integrative data analysis. Results: Nostalgia (compared to control) significantly increased self-reported social connectedness, meaning in life, self-continuity, optimism, self-esteem, and positive (but not negative) affect (Experiments 1-3). Compared to controls, nostalgic participants also recalled significantly more self-referent dementia-related information (Experiment 3). Conclusion: This series of experiments extends social psychological research with non-clinical populations into dementia care, providing evidence that nostalgia significantly enhances psychological resources. The finding that nostalgia increased recall of self-referent statements about dementia suggests that this emotion lends participants the fortitude to face the threat posed by their illness. The finding has potentially important clinical implications both for the development of reminiscence therapy and for facilitating adjustment to a diagnosis of dementia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at IOS Press through: https://www.j-alz.com/vol65-4
Uncontrolled Keywords: dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, autobiographical memory, immediate recall, psychological adaptation
Faculty/Department: Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Professor R. Cheston
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2018 14:10
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2018 20:04
URI: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/id/eprint/37293

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