A series of observation studies on elderly demented patients were carried out in an attempt to devise a reliable instrument for measuring engaged behaviour and emotional responses. This was achieved in a number of stages, and a final small scale study demonstrated a high level of inter-rater reliability. The instrument was then employed to assess the effects of a short-term intervention in a group of non-verbal elderly patients on a geriatric ward. A single case design was employed and replicated across six subjects. The results provide some support for the efficacy of this type of intervention, although there was considerable inter-subject variability in response.
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