An Evidence-Based Reading and Discussion Activity for People with Dementia
Hearthside Book Club isn't merely a good idea—it is backed by science. We conducted three years of NIH-funded research to develop a high-quality activity that you and participants are sure to enjoy. The impact of the activity on participants can be significant, especially if it is used regularly. Take a look at the graphs below to see the activity's specific effects on quality of life, engagement, pleasure, and apathy.
Engagement and Pleasure
Participants are more engaged and exhibit increased pleasure while participating in a Hearthside Book Club® session. For instance, there was an increase in Constructive Engagement (doing or speaking about things related to the target activity) while using Hearthside Book Club®, as compared to baseline/standard activities. Distracted Engagement (doing things other than the target activity) and Non-Engagement/Apathy (sleeping or staring into space) were reduced substantially while participating in Hearthside Book Club®, as compared to baseline/standard activities. Pleasure (clearly observable smiling and laughing) was also much more prevalent while using Hearthside Book Club. All changes were statistically significant (p<.01).
Quality of Life
Our research has shown that residents who take part in Hearthside Book Club® regularly have a higher quality of life. We used a validated scale called the Dementia Quality of Life Scale (DEMQOL) to examine engagement before participants took part in Hearthside Book Club (baseline) and after they took part in reading groups regularly (post-treatment). The was a statistically significant change from baseline to post-treatment (p<.01).
Unfortunately, apathy (a loss of interest or concern) can be quite common in persons with memory issues. Hearthside Book Club® helped to reduce this behavior, with a statistically significant change from baseline to post treatment (p<.05)