Posted on Feb 07, 2024, 3 p.m.
The groundbreaking study, "Timed Activity to Minimize Sleep Disturbance in People With Cognitive Impairment” from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, published in Innovation in Aging, confirms the effectiveness of behavioral intervention in improving the quality of life and addressing sleep quality issue in those with cognitive impairment, but also potentially reduces care partner burden and overall care costs for those living at home with memory issues.
"The results from this study provide fundamental new knowledge regarding the effects of timing activity participation and can lead to structured, replicable treatment protocols to address sleep disturbances," said Nancy Hodgson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing and Chair of Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, led a group of researchers from Penn Nursing, Penn Medicine, Rutgers School of Nursing, and Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions. "Overall, the Healthy Patterns program resulted in improved QOL compared to an attention-control group."
This research investigates the efficacy of a non-pharmacological approach in a trial known as the Healthy Patterns Sleep Program (HPSP). This study involved 209 pairings of community-residing people with memory issues and their care partners who were either assigned to the HPSP which consisted of one-hour at-home activity sessions over 4 weeks; or to a control group receiving sleep hygiene training and education on home safety and health promotion.
Additionally, the care partners in the HPSP group were also trained in timed daily activities such as morning reminiscence activities, afternoon exercises, and evening sensory activities that can help to decrease daytime sleepiness and improve nighttime sleep quality.
According to the researchers, the findings indicate that those in the 4-week HPSP group experienced improved sleep quality among those with memory issues who had depressive symptoms or poor sleep quality, compared to the control group. However, the researchers believe that the Healthy Patterns Intervention appears to need a longer dose to induce more significant improvement in other sleep-wake activity metrics, which can hopefully be further explored in additional research.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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