Beneficial effects of multisensory and cognitive stimulation in institutionalized elderly: 12-months follow-up.
de Macedo LD., De Oliveira TC., Soares FC., Bento-Torres J., Bento-Torres NV., Anthony DC., Picanço-Diniz CW.
We previously demonstrated the beneficial effects of a multisensory and cognitive stimulation program, consisting of 48 sessions, twice a week, to improve the cognition of elderly subjects living either in long-term care institutions (institutionalized - I) or in communities with their families (noninstitutionalized - NI). In the present study, we evaluated these subjects after the end of the intervention and compared the rate of age-related cognitive decline of those living in an enriched community environment (NI group, n=15, 74.1±3.9 years old) with those living in the impoverished environment of long-term care institutions (I group, n=20, 75.1±6.8 years old). Both groups participated fully in our stimulation program. Over 1 year, we conducted revaluations at five time points (2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, and 12 months) after the completion of the intervention. Both elderly groups were evaluated with the mini-mental state examination and selected language tests. Progressive cognitive decline was observed in both groups over the period. Indeed, it took only 4-6 months after the end of the stimulation program for significant reductions in language test scores to become apparent. However, earlier reductions in test scores were mainly associated with I group, and linguistic prosody test scores were significantly affected by institutionalization and time, two variables that interacted and reduced these scores. Moreover, I group reduced the Montréal cognitive assessment battery language tests scores 4 months before NI group. It remains to be investigated what mechanisms may explain the earlier and more intense language losses in institutionalized elderly.