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Intergenerational volunteering and quality of life: mixed methods evaluation of a randomized control trial involving persons with mild to moderate dementia


George, Daniel R.


Quality Of Life Research: An International Journal Of Quality Of Life Aspects Of Treatment, Care And Rehabilitation, Volume: 20, No.: 7, Pages.: 987-995

Year of Publication



Purpose: This article reports on a mixed methods evaluation of a randomized control trial in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, that assessed whether an intergenerational volunteering intervention could enhance quality of life (QOL) for persons with mild to moderate dementia.; Methods: Fifteen participants were randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group participated in hour-long volunteer sessions with a kindergarten class and an older elementary class in alternating weeks over a 5-month interval. Psychometric data on cognitive functioning, stress, depression, sense of purpose, and sense of usefulness were collected at baseline and at the close of the intervention, and change scores were computed and analyzed for all variables. Ethnography was carried out through the duration of the study, and narrative interviews were held with participants and caregivers. A modified grounded theory approach was used for qualitative analysis.; Results: Quantitative analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in stress for the intervention group. Qualitative analysis identified three main pathways through which intergenerational volunteering affected QOL: perceived health benefits, sense of purpose and sense of usefulness, and relationships.; Conclusions: Mixed methods evaluation demonstrated that intergenerational volunteering might enhance quality of life through several key pathways, most significantly reduced stress.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{George_2011, doi = {10.1007/s11136-010-9837-8}, url = {}, year = 2011, month = {jan}, publisher = {Springer Science $mathplus$ Business Media}, volume = {20}, number = {7}, pages = {987--995}, author = {Daniel R. George}, title = {Intergenerational volunteering and quality of life: mixed methods evaluation of a randomized control trial involving persons with mild to moderate dementia}, journal = {Qual Life Res} }


adolescent, aged, aged, 80 and over, and, child, child preschool, dementia, female, humans, intergenerational relations, interviews as topic, kindergarten, male, ohio, physiopathology, psychometrics, quality of life, schools, severity of illness index, stress, volunteers

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Ethnographic study, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Cognition, Depression and Anxiety, Other, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia



Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Intergenerational Activities