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Cognitive stimulation for Portuguese older adults with cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial of efficacy, comparative duration, feasibility, and experiential relevance


Alves, J., Alves-Costa, F., Magalhaes, R., Goncalves, O. F., Sampaio, A.


American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, Volume: 29, No.: 6, Pages.: 503-512

Year of Publication



Although some studies point to cognitive stimulation as a beneficial therapy for older adults with cognitive impairments, this area of research and practice is still lacking dissemination and is underrepresented in many countries. Moreover, the comparative effects of different intervention durations remain to be established and, besides cognitive effects, pragmatic parameters, such as cost-effectiveness and experiential relevance to participants, are seldom explored. In this work, we present a randomized controlled wait-list trial evaluating 2 different intervention durations (standard = 17 vs brief = 11 sessions) of a cognitive stimulation program developed for older adults with cognitive impairments with or without dementia. 20 participants were randomly assigned to the standard duration intervention program (17 sessions, 1.5 months) or to a wait-list group. At postintervention of the standard intervention group, the wait-list group crossed over to receive the brief intervention program (11 sessions, 1 month). Changes in neuropsychological, functionality, quality of life, and caregiver outcomes were evaluated. Experience during intervention and costs and feasibility were also evaluated. The current cognitive stimulation programs (ie, standard and brief) showed high values of experiential relevance for both intervention durations. High adherence, completion rates, and reasonable costs were found for both formats. Further studies are needed to definitively establish the potential efficacy, optimal duration, cost-effectiveness, and experiential relevance for participants of cognitive intervention approaches. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Alves_2014, doi = {10.1177/1533317514522541}, url = {}, year = 2014, month = {feb}, publisher = {{SAGE} Publications}, volume = {29}, number = {6}, pages = {503--512}, author = {J. Alves and F. Alves-Costa and R. Magalhaes and O. F. Goncalves and A. Sampaio}, title = {Cognitive Stimulation for Portuguese Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Efficacy, Comparative Duration, Feasibility, and Experiential Relevance}, journal = {American Journal of Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s Disease and Other Dementias} }


aging, cognition, cognitive impairment, cognitive intervention, cognitive stimulation, dementia, intervention, mild cognitive impairment mci, stimulation

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Other carer outcomes (e.g. financial burden and more), Quality of Life of Person With Dementia

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Adult safeguarding and abuse detection/prevention