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Findings from a pilot investigation of the effectiveness of a snoezelen room in residential care: should we be engaging with our residents more?


Anderson, Katrina, Bird, Michael, MacPherson, Sarah, McDonough, Vikki, Davis, Terri


Geriatric Nursing (New York, N.Y.), Volume: 32, No.: 3, Pages.: 166-177

Year of Publication



There is increasing literature on multisensory therapy or Snoezelen, with some evidence suggesting it promotes positive mood and reduces maladaptive behavior in people with dementia. We undertook a pilot evaluation of a Snoezelen room in residential care and compared effects with a condition in which staff took residents out to a garden. This study was therefore a comparison between a Snoezelen room containing prescriptive, expensive equipment and a more everyday existing location that, inevitably, also contained several sensory stimuli. The study was difficult to implement, with low numbers because some staff failed to attend sessions, and the frequent although rarely reported difficulty of introducing psychosocial interventions and doing research in residential care is one of the main stories of this study. No staff member used the room outside of the study, and we found no significant difference between Snoezelen and garden conditions. Results, although highly equivocal because of low numbers, raised the issue of the implementation of standard therapies in dementia care outpacing the evidence, possibly at the expense of less elaborate practices.; Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bibtex Citation

@article{Anderson_2011, doi = {10.1016/j.gerinurse.2010.12.011}, url = {}, year = 2011, month = {may}, publisher = {Elsevier {BV}}, volume = {32}, number = {3}, pages = {166--177}, author = {Katrina Anderson and Michael Bird and Sarah MacPherson and Vikki McDonough and Terri Davis}, title = {Findings from a Pilot Investigation of the Effectiveness of a Snoezelen Room in Residential Care: Should We Be Engaging with Our Residents More?}, journal = {Geriatric Nursing} }


affect, aged, aged, 80 and over, and, behavioral symptoms, dementia, female, housing for the elderly, humans, impact, male, multisensory, of, other, perception, physiopathology, rehabilitation, residential facilities, sensory, snoezelen, stimuli, therapy, unspecified

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Before and After Study

Type of Outcomes



Long Term Residential Care without medically trained staff

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions