Background: Dementia in the elderly is a common, debilitating condition. Residents in long-term care facilities present with a number of challenging behaviors. Pharmacological management is not always helpful. Alternative approaches are needed. Methods: Multisensory stimulation (MSS) was developed to address sensory stimulation imbalance. In this pilot 24-week single-blinded, randomized controlled study, the authors examined the effect of MSS when given for 12 weeks in either 1 or 3 sessions per week with a control group. Results: There is a trend for better outcomes as measured by daily observation scales (DOS) or Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) with the increase of sessions of treatment per week. This became statistically significant at weeks 8 (DOS) and 12 (CGI). This difference continued for 12 additional weeks after treatment ended. Conclusions: MSS may be a useful addition to the care of elderly patients with dementia. A larger double-blind randomized control study is required.
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