Background: Recently, a new communication method was introduced in nursing homes for people with dementia. This so-called Veder Method, developed by professional actors with former educational background in care, combines proven effective emotion-oriented care methods, like reminiscence, with theatrical stimuli like songs and poetry. The method is applied during theatre shows and living room theatre activities. In this exploratory study the surplus value of a living room theatre activity according to the Veder method compared to a reminiscence group activity was evaluated.
Method: Within a quasi experimental design, three groups of nursing home residents with dementia were compared: Experimental group 1 (E1; N=64) joined a ‘living room theatre activity’ offered by trained caregivers. Experimental group 2 (E2; N=31) joined a ‘living room theatre activity’ offered by professional actors. The control group (N=52) received a reminiscence group activity. Behaviour, mood and quality of life were measured using standardized observation scales at three points in time: (T1) pretest; (T2) during the intervention and; (T3) posttest, two hours after the intervention. Results During and after the intervention, positive effects were found in favour of E2 on behaviour (i.e. laughing, recalled memories), mood (i.e. happy/content) and quality of life (i.e. social involvement, feeling at home).
Conclusion: A living room theatre activity according to the Veder Method has more positive effect on nursing home residents compared to a normal reminiscence group activity, if offered by professional actors.
Key Words: Communication, Reminiscence, Emotion-oriented care methods, Nursing homes, Behaviour