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The social treatment: the benefits of group interventions in residential care settings


Haslam, Catherine, Haslam, S. Alexander, Jetten, Jolanda, Bevins, Adam, Ravenscroft, Sophie, Tonks, James


Psychology And Aging, Volume: 25, No.: 1, Pages.: 157-167

Year of Publication



We report findings from an intervention study that investigates the impact of group reminiscence (GR) and individual reminiscence (IR) activities on older adults living in care settings. This research aimed to provide a theory-driven evaluation of reminiscence based on a social identity framework. This framework predicts better health outcomes for group-based interventions as a result of their capacity to create a sense of shared social identification among participants. A total of 73 residents, living in either standard or specialized (i.e., dementia) care units, were randomly assigned to one of three interventions: GR (n = 29), IR (n = 24), and a group control activity (n = 20). The intervention took place over 6 weeks, and cognitive screening and well-being measures were administered both pre- and post-intervention. Results indicated that only the group interventions produced effective outcomes and that these differed as a modality-specific function of condition: Collective recollection of past memories enhanced memory performance, and engaging in a shared social activity enhanced well-being. Theoretically, these findings point to the important role that group membership plays in maintaining and promoting health and well-being.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Haslam_2010, doi = {10.1037/a0018256}, url = {}, year = 2010, publisher = {American Psychological Association ({APA})}, volume = {25}, number = {1}, pages = {157--167}, author = {Catherine Haslam and S. Alexander Haslam and Jolanda Jetten and Adam Bevins and Sophie Ravenscroft and James Tonks}, title = {The social treatment: The benefits of group interventions in residential care settings.}, journal = {Psychology and Aging} }


affect, aged, aged, 80 and over, anxiety disorders, assisted living facilities, dementia, depressive disorder, female, humans, internalexternal control, male, mental recall, mental status schedule, methods, middle aged, outcome and process assessment health care, psychology, psychotherapy group, quality of life, self concept, social behavior, social identification, therapy

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Cognition, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia


Long Term Residential Care without medically trained staff, Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Reminiscence and Anxiety Therapies