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Cognitive impairment in older adults may lead to less everyday life activities and poor quality of life. One of the causes of cognitive impairment showed that brain cell and neurons were declined. Cognitive stimulation with increasing neuroplasticity of brain cell can regenerate cognitive function.
The purpose of the quasi-experimental research was to investigate the effect of a cognitive stimulation program on the cognitive functions of older adults with mild cognitive impairment. A sample of 44 older adults with cognitive impairment, without depression, and aged 60 years and over was randomly assigned into the experimental and control group with 22 subjects in each group. The experimental group participated in the cognitive stimulation program, including reality orientation and cognitive stimulation by physical activity, multi-sensory stimulation, reminiscence and information processing for six sessions. Each session lasted 90-120 minutes, once a week for six weeks. The control group received routine care. The research instrument for collecting the data included personal data questionnaires and the mini-mental status examination Thai 2002 (MMSE). The reliability of the MMSE was .88. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t–test.
The findings were as follows: 1)The mean score for the cognitive function of the experimental group after participating in the cognitive stimulation program (M=29.00, SD=1.45) was statistically significantly greater than before attending the program (M=23.55, SD=2.86), (t=9.06, p < .001). 2) The mean difference in the cognitive function between the pretest and posttest of the experimental group ( E=5.45, SDE=2.82) was statistically significantly greater than the mean difference of the control group ( C=0.18, SDC=1.33), (t=8.47, p < .001).
It can be concluded that the cognitive stimulation program effectively increased the cognitive function of the older adults with cognitive impairment. In addition, this program is a therapeutic intervention that can develop and enhance the cognitive function of older adults.