With the acceleration of population aging, empty nesters community issues get increasingly wide attention. Numerous studies confirm that, with aging, the cognitive abilities of the elderly have a gradual downward trend, and even a greater degree of recession may occur. Those who has severe cognitive impairment could be diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease. Researches indicated that the reducing social function, lack of social activities, negative life events and other factors are believed to cause the cognitive decline directly or indirectly. These risk factors happen to coincide the characteristics of the empty nesters, which implies that the empty nesters may be a susceptible group of cognitive decline. Previous studies showed that group counseling in community has a significant positive effect on empty nesters’ depression, anxiety and other emotional problems. In light of this, the present study using cognitive behavioral techniques, explore the effect of group counseling on the improvement of cognitive abilities of community empty nesters. 120 cases of over-60-year-old empty nesters voluntary participants were attended in this research, they were randomly divided into intervention group and control group, each 60 people. The average age in intervention group was 73.45 years (SD = 8.58), of which 10 male and 50 female participants; the average age in the control group was 66.36 years (SD = 6.64), of which 13 male and 47 female participants. In the intervention group, a community "Empty Nesters Club" was established first, then a series of group counseling using cognitive behavioral techniques was conducted with a frequency of 60min per week lasting for 12 months, containing communication training, psychological games, creative production training, arts recreational activities, while the control group received no intervention. Both groups were using the Minimum Mental State Examination (MMSE) before and after a 12-month interval to measure the current cognitive abilities to evaluate the effect of the intervention. The result shows that there’re significant interactions between groups and test sequential in the total score (t=-2.95, p<0.01) and sub scores of orientation (F =20.85, p <0.01), registration (F =5.94, p =0.02), attention and calculation (F =12.46, p <0.01), recall (F =5.37, p=0.02), language (F =13.30, p <0.01), and repetition (F =5.37, p=0.02). A series of paired samples t-test in same group were used to explore the longitude in-group effect, the results shows that, the scores of cognitive abilities in the control group were significantly decreased on total score (t=-2.95, p<0.01) and sub score of recall (t=-3.03, p<0.01) while in the intervention group the total score (t=7.35, p<0.01) and sub scores of orientation (t=5.06, p<0.01), registration (t=2.12, p=0.04), attention and calculation (t=3.76, p<0.01), and language (t=3.68, p<0.00). Results indicated that cognitive abilities of empty nesters gradually decline with aging; community group counseling using cognitive behavioral techniques could significantly improve the cognitive abilities of empty nesters. This research provides a new method to improve cognitive abilities of community empty nesters, expands the scope of application of cognitive behavioral techniques, serve a new sight of psychological intervention for the elderly in community, and provides a theoretical basis and practical basis for further in-depth scientific research and community mental work in the future.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Event||The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Community Psychology Committee of the Chinese Psychological Association - Southwest University, Chongqing, China|
Duration: 21 Oct 2016 → …
|Conference||The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Community Psychology Committee of the Chinese Psychological Association|
|Period||21/10/16 → …|