Impact of the Sonas programme on communication over a period of 24 weeks in people with moderate-to-severe dementia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra. 2018, 8, (238-247). 10.1159/000489041
The primary aim was to examine how communication abilities changed over time among nursing home residents with moderate-to-severe dementia who were attending the Sonas programme and to explore whether changes in communication abilities were related to cognitive ability. A longitudinal secondary descriptive study method was employed, where 56 people with moderate-to-severe dementia attended a 45-min Sonas group session twice a week for 24 weeks. The Threadgold Communication Tool (TCT) was completed every 4 weeks. The impact of the Sonas programme on communication showed a significant non-linear trend in the TCT, with an increase in communication abilities during the first 16 weeks, regardless of the level of the residents’ cognitive abilities. Thereafter it levelled out. No interaction was found between time and the frequency of attendances at Sonas sessions. Both verbal and non-verbal communication increased from the baseline, with nonverbal communication increasing quickly and verbal communication increasing marginally. Communication abilities increased with the time of the intervention, but the peak was achieved after 16 weeks, after which the effect levelled out. This suggest that the Sonas programme should be used for a period of at least 16 weeks before evaluating its effect.