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The psychosocial impacts of multimedia biographies on persons with cognitive impairments


Damianakis, Thecla, Crete-Nishihata, Masashi, Smith, Karen L., Baecker, Ronald M., Marziali, Elsa


The Gerontologist, Volume: 50, No.: 1, Pages.: 23-35

Year of Publication



Purpose: The purpose of this feasibility pilot project was to observe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients’ responses to personalized multimedia biographies (MBs). We developed a procedure for using digital video technology to construct DVD-based MBs of persons with AD or MCI, documented their responses to observing their MBs, and evaluated the psychosocial benefits.; Methods: An interdisciplinary team consisting of multimedia biographers and social workers interviewed 12 family members of persons with AD and MCI and collected archival materials to best capture the families’ and patients’ life histories. We filmed patients’ responses to watching the MBs and conducted follow-up interviews with the families and patients at 3 and 6 months following the initial viewing. Qualitative analytic strategies were used for extracting themes and key issues identified in both the filmed and the interview response data.; Results: Analysis of the interview and video data showed how evoked long-term memories stimulated reminiscing, brought mostly joy but occasionally moments of sadness to the persons with cognitive impairments, aided family members in remembering and better understanding their loved ones, and stimulated social interactions with family members and with formal caregivers.; Implication: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using readily available digital video technology to produce MBs that hold special meaning for individuals experiencing AD or MCI and their families.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Damianakis_2009, doi = {10.1093/geront/gnp104}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {jul}, publisher = {Oxford University Press ({OUP})}, volume = {50}, number = {1}, pages = {23--35}, author = {T. Damianakis and M. Crete-Nishihata and K. L. Smith and R. M. Baecker and E. Marziali}, title = {The Psychosocial Impacts of Multimedia Biographies on Persons With Cognitive Impairments}, journal = {The Gerontologist} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, biographies, biography as topic, caregivers, cognition disorders, feasibility studies, female, humans, male, memory, methods, middle aged, multimedia, personalised, personalized, physiology, pilot projects, psychology, rehabilitation, remission induction

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Before and After Study, Interview Study

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Other carer outcomes (e.g. financial burden and more)

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions, Technology (telephone, telecare, telehealth, robots, GPS)

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Reminiscence and Anxiety Therapies