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Effects of Environmental-Based Tasks on Engagement, Affect, and Activity Progression in Persons with Alzheimer's Disease

Reardon, Michaela S. (2017) Effects of Environmental-Based Tasks on Engagement, Affect, and Activity Progression in Persons with Alzheimer's Disease. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive deterioration, changes in behavior, and impairments in memory, judgment, and decision making (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014; Bayles & Kim, 2003; Katzman & Saitoh, 1991). It is thought that these changes are the result of a decrease in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine throughout regions of the brains attributed to memory. Research has shown that while explicit memory is largely affected by Alzheimer’s, implicit, or procedural memory, is still left in- tact (Adam, Van der Linden, Collette, Lemauvais, & Salmon, 2005; Guerdoux, Dressaire, Martin, Adam, & Brouillet, 2012; Monti et al, 1996). Environmental-based activities have been shown to have had positive impacts on those with dementia because they focus on everyday sensory and motor skills. It has also been shown that these activities have a positive impact on engagement and affect (Freidrich, 2009; Giroux et al., 2010; Padilla, 2011); however, there is a lack of standardization in the way that activities have been delivered and the manner in which behavioral data has been measured. The current literature also does not address whether or not individuals improve in these activities over time since they are rehearsed. This within-subjects study aimed to bridge the gap in the current literature and looked at the effect of one environmental-based task on engagement, affect, and activity progression in three adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Results showed that for the first participant, the three dependent variables fit a quadratic trend. A regression curve estimation revealed significant results indicating that active engagement was related to both positive affect and progression over time. No findings were significant for the second participant, and the third was dropped from the study due to attendance. This study demonstrated the importance of tailoring these environmental-based tasks to a particular individual and their interests.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Michaela S. Reardon
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 15:15
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 15:15
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/382

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