Doll therapy, child representational therapy and animal representational therapy are successful forms of therapy for supporting some people with dementia. It has been found, both anecdotally and clinically, that these therapies can reduce anxiety and agitation and have a truly trans-formative effect for some people with dementia, bringing them a sense of purpose, joy and peace.
Doll Therapy in Dementia Care : Evidence and Practice / Mitchell, Gary (2016)
Advocating doll therapy as an intervention for people with dementia, this book combines theory and evidence to show its many benefits and present guidelines for best-practice. Despite being widely and internationally used, doll therapy is a controversial and often misunderstood intervention. This book debunks the myths surrounding doll therapy, highlighting its proven positive impact on the well-being of people with dementia. The book gives care professionals an indispensable overview of doll therapy within the context of current advocated best practices, using original research and evidence to present the rationale of its use. The book also engages with ethical issues, ensuring that professionals are aware of the aspects of doll-therapy that may be counter-productive to person-centred care. Providing clear guidelines on how best to utilise doll therapy, this comprehensive book is an important resource for any professional looking to implement this intervention.
Understanding behaviour in dementia that challenges / Ian Andrew James and Louisa Jackman (2017)
This revised second edition guide to assessment and treatment of behaviours that challenge associated with dementia includes a chapter on the Use of therapeutic dolls
Therapeutic use of dolls for people living with dementia: A critical review of the literature (2016) in Dementia Vol 15, Issue 5
There are a number of therapies currently available to assist healthcare professionals and carers with non-pharmacological treatment for people living with dementia. One such therapy that has been growing in clinical practice is doll therapy. Providing dolls to some people living with dementia has the potential to enhance personal well-being through increased levels of communication and engagement with others. Despite its potential for benefits, the practice is currently under-developed in healthcare literature, probably due to varied ethical interpretations of its practice.
Implementation of a baby doll therapy protocol for people with dementia: Innovative practice (2015) in Dementia Vol 14, Issue 5
Dementia is exhibited by both emotional and physical states such as agitation. Chemical restraints, often used for agitated behaviors, are not always effective and produce untoward effects. Baby doll therapy is a nonpharmacologic therapy that can affect agitated behavior in dementia patients, yet a protocol for the therapy did not exist. An implementation protocol for doll therapy for those with dementia was developed and implemented with 16 residents in a dementia care center. Outcomes were measurements of the impact of the dolls on six areas of the resident’s behavior and their reactions to the doll. Participants had an increase in level of happiness, activity/liveliness, interaction with staff and others, and ease of giving care. There was also a reduction in the level of anxiety. The increase in happiness was a statistically significant outcome. Baby doll therapy is an effective nonpharmacological approach for improving the well-being of patients with moderate to severe dementia.
The utilization of robotic pets in dementia care (2017) in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Vol.55(2) pp. 569-574.
Behavioral problems may affect individuals with dementia, increasing the cost and burden of care. Pet therapy has been known to be emotionally beneficial for many years. Robotic pets have been shown to have similar positive effects without the negative aspects of traditional pets. Robotic pet therapy offers an alternative to traditional pet therapy.
Group sessions with Paro in a nursing home: Structure,observations and interviews (2016) in Australasian Journal on Ageing Volume 35, Issue 2 June pp. 106–112
Observations were conducted focusing on engagement, how residents treated the robot and if the robot acted as a social catalyst. In addition, 16 residents and 21 staff were asked open-ended questions at the end of the study about the sessions and the robot.
This study supports other research showing Paro has psychosocial benefits and provides a guide for those wishing to use Paro in a group setting in aged care.
Maria’s baby: a case study (2016) in Nursing Ethics. Vol.23(6), pp. 713-716.