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Doll therapy: An intervention for nursing home residents with dementia


Shin, Juh Hyun


Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, Volume: 53, No.: 1, Pages.: 13-18

Year of Publication



The use of dolls as a therapeutic intervention for nursing home residents with dementia is relatively new. The current article describes a research study implemented with nursing home residents in Korea to examine the effects of doll therapy on their mood, behavior, and social interactions. A one-group, pretest–posttest design was used to measure the impact of doll therapy on 51 residents with dementia. Linear regression demonstrated statistically significant differences in aggression, obsessive behaviors, wandering, negative verbalization, negative mood, and negative physical appearance after introduction of the doll therapy intervention. Interactions with other individuals also increased over time. Findings support the benefits of doll therapy for nursing home residents with dementia; however, further research is needed to provide more empirical evidence and explore ethical considerations in the use of doll therapy in this vulnerable population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Shin_2015, doi = {10.3928/02793695-20141218-03}, url = {}, year = 2015, month = {jan}, publisher = {{SLACK}, Inc.}, volume = {53}, number = {1}, pages = {13--18}, author = {Juh Hyun Shin}, title = {Doll Therapy: An Intervention for Nursing Home Residents With Dementia}, journal = {J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv} }


dementia, doll play, doll therapy intervention, efficacy, intervention, nursing, nursing home residents, nursing homes, outcomes, treatment effectiveness evaluation

Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Before and After Study

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Depression and Anxiety


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Doll Therapy