An Arts intervention for older adults living in subsidized retirement homes

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Research
Noice and Noice

One hundred and twenty two older adults participated in a theatrical intervention twice a week for four weeks. The training included multi-modal or cognitive-affective-physiological activities. The theatrical group was compared with a no-treatment control and a singing intervention. Effectiveness was assessed through a battery of 11 cognitive/affective test measures including word recall, prose comprehension/recall, word generation, digit-span ability and problem-solving.  The study showed that the acting group improved significantly over both other comparison groups. Digit-span was the only measure that did not improve. Gains were observed even without specific supplied training or practice on the test measures. These findings are similar to previous versions of the intervention however the current participants were older, less educated and residing in subsidized, primarily low-income retirement homes.