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The Effect of Gerotranscendence Reminiscence Therapy among Institutionalized Elders: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author(s): Chiu-Yueh Hsiao, Shu-Hui Yeh, Jing-Jy Wang, Li-Yeh Fu, I-F Lin, I-Chuan Li6



The meaning of life is important for older people to attain a high level of life satisfaction and face the future with hope by recognizing and integrating previous life experiences with current situation. Rediscovering the meaning of life is a crucial psychological objective. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of meaning of life after the application gerotranscendence reminiscence therapy among institutionalized elders.


This study used an experimental, two-group, repeated measurement design. Using purposive sampling, 82 older adults were recruited from eight long-term care facilities in Taiwan. Subjects were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the comparison group. All the subjects were 65 years old or older and had normal cognitive functioning as measured by the Small Portable Mental Status Questionnaire. 41 subjects in the intervention group received the gerotranscendence reminiscence intervention once a week for eight weeks, with each session lasting 60 minutes. 41 subjects in the comparison group continued received regular activities provided by their institutions. The structured questionnaire included demographic items and a purpose in life test. The subjects completed each question at three different study time points: prior to receiving the intervention, right after the intervention, and six weeks after the intervention.


The results of the GEE analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the comparison and intervention groups in purpose in life scores one week after the completion of the intervention (β=14.07, p<0.001) and also after 6 weeks of the intervention (β=16.01, p<0.001). This indicated that the gerotranscendence reminiscence therapy enhanced the belief that life has meaning and that the effects of the therapy lasted for at least six weeks.


The results of this study support the conclusion that gerotranscendence reminiscence therapy can significantly increase the meaning of life for institutionalized elders.

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