2017 Volume 2
Objective: Rehabilitation for dementia is important in Roken Geriatric Health Service Facilities in Japan. This study evaluated the effects of a cooking program as rehabilitation for elderly residents with dementia. Methods: We carried out a 12-week cooking program based on the five principles of brain-activating rehabilitation (BAR): fostering a pleasant atmosphere, interactive communication, establishing social roles, giving and receiving praise, and errorless learning. The program was carried out in small groups and consisted of 90-min classes once a week. Participants were 36 elderly residents with dementia (mean 85.4 ± 6.5 years) who were randomly divided into intervention (n = 18) and control (n = 18) groups. The control group participated in recreation and both groups received individual conventional rehabilitation twice a week for 30 min. The effects of intervention were evaluated using nine outcome measures. Results: A total of 29 participants were included in the analysis (two-way analysis of variance). The attendance rate was 86.6% in the intervention group (n = 13). The Yamaguchi Kanji Symbol Substitution Test (executive function) showed significant interaction (F(1, 27) = 4.305, P = 0.048) between the two groups: the control group (n = 16) showed significant deterioration (pre 4.9 ± 5.6 to post 3.0 ± 4.9; P = 0.032). The dementia behavior disturbance scale also showed significant interaction (F(1, 29) = 13.298, P = 0.001): the intervention group (n = 16) showed significant improvement (pre 21.6 ± 12.2 to post 11.4 ± 11.5; P < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in the other outcome measures. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a cooking program based on BAR can reduce the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and maintain executive function.