Long-term effects of a memory group intervention reported by older adults Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The aim of this study was to examine older adults' experiences of change following a group memory intervention, the La Trobe and Caulfield Hospital (LaTCH) Memory Group programme. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 individuals. Participants were healthy older adults and older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who had participated in the memory group five years previously. Transcripts were analysed for emergent themes in a workshop, using the Most Significant Change technique. The focus group derived four major themes relating to participants' experiences of change. Particularly noteworthy were themes describing a process of acceptance and normalising of memory difficulties in older age, as well as enhancement of coping and self-efficacy. The results highlight the importance of group support for older adults with and without objective memory impairment. Memory groups may use the group format to full advantage by (a) enhancing participants' experiences of universality to alleviate distress and promote coping, and (b) developing group norms to promote positive ageing, encompassing enhanced acceptance and self-efficacy.

publication date

  • 2018