Snoezelen: Its Long-Term and Short-Term Effects on Older People with Dementia

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Authors: Baker, R., Dowling, Z., Wareing, L.A., Dawson, J. and Assey, J.

Journal: British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Volume: 60

Issue: 5

Pages: 213-218

eISSN: 1477-6006

ISSN: 0308-0226

DOI: 10.1177/030802269706000507

A randomised controlled trial was conducted to investigate the long-term and short-term effects of the Snoezelen environment on the behaviour, mood and cognition of elderly patients with dementia, and to gain an understanding of the processes occurring within Snoezelen. Patients participated in either eight Snoezelen or eight activity sessions. Pre-trial, mid-trial, post-trial and follow-up assessments were carried out at home and at the day hospital. Ratings of behaviour and mood were also made before, during and after each session. In the long term, the main benefits for Snoezelen patients were in the domain of socially disturbed behaviour. In the home setting, there was a highly significant difference between the two groups in favour of Snoezelen, and in the hospital setting it was nearly significant. Short-term improvements in behaviour and mood were evident for both groups after sessions, and communication was significantly better during Snoezelen sessions in comparison with activity sessions. The processes occurring within Snoezelen sessions seemed to involve facilitation of verbal expression and memory recall.

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