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Engaging nursing home residents with dementia in activities: The effects of modeling, presentation order, time of day, and setting characteristics


Cohen-Mansfield, Jiska, Thein, Khin, Dakheel-Ali, Maha, Marx, Marcia S.


Aging & Mental Health, Volume: 14, No.: 4, Pages.: 471-480

Year of Publication



We examined the impact of setting characteristics and presentation effects on engagement with stimuli in a group of 193 nursing home residents with dementia (recruited from a total of seven nursing homes). Engagement was assessed through systematic observations using the Observational Measurement of Engagement (OME), and data pertaining to setting characteristics (background noise, light, and number of persons in proximity) were recorded via the environmental portion of the Agitation Behavior Mapping Inventory (ABMI; Cohen-Mansfield, Werner, & Marx, (1989). An observational study of agitation in agitated nursing home residents. International Psychogeriatrics,1, 153-165). Results revealed that study participants were engaged more often with moderate levels of sound and in the presence of a small group of people (from four to nine people). As to the presentation effects, multiple presentations of the same stimulus were found to be appropriate for the severely impaired as well as the moderately cognitively impaired. Moreover, modeling of the appropriate behavior significantly increased engagement, with the severely cognitively impaired residents receiving the greatest benefit from modeling. These findings have direct implications for the way in which caregivers could structure the environment in the nursing home and how they could present stimuli to residents in order to optimize engagement in persons with dementia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Cohen_Mansfield_2010, doi = {10.1080/13607860903586102}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {may}, publisher = {Informa {UK} Limited}, volume = {14}, number = {4}, pages = {471--480}, author = {Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Khin Thein and Maha Dakheel-Ali and Marcia S. Marx}, title = {Engaging nursing home residents with dementia in activities: The effects of modeling, presentation order, time of day, and setting characteristics}, journal = {Aging {&} Mental Health} }


attendants institutions, dementia, engagement, levels, modeling, nursing home residents, nursing homes, of, research setting, setting characteristics, simulation, stimulation, stimuli, unspecified, various, with

Countries of Study


Type of Outcomes



Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions