Evid Based Nurs 7:55 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.2.55
  • Treatment

Multisensory stimulation was not better than usual activities for changing cognition, behaviour, and mood in dementia

 Q In older adults with dementia, does individualised multisensory stimulation (MSS) improve behaviour, mood, and cognition more than a control activity (eg, playing cards, looking at photographs, or doing quizzes)?



randomised controlled trial.





GraphicFollow up period:

8 weeks.


a day hospital in the UK and psychogeriatric wards in the Netherlands and Sweden.


136 patients (mean age 82 y) who had Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or mixed dementia; no major psychiatric comorbid conditions; moderate to severe cognitive impairment (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] score 0–17); and were not confined to bed.


eight 30 minute sessions of either MSS (n = 65) or activity (n = 71) twice a week for 4 weeks. Sessions occurred one on one with the same key worker (nurse, occupational therapist, or psychology assistant) whenever possible. MSS was matched to the patient’s needs and interests and included light and sound effects and materials for touching and smelling. The comparison activity sessions consisted of playing cards, doing quizzes, and looking at photographs with no clear aim or focus to the task. No intentional special MSS experiences were introduced.


behaviour and mood during and after sessions (Interact rating form); cognition (MMSE) and behaviour at home or on the ward (Behaviour Rating Scale) after 8 sessions in 4 weeks; …

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