Determinants of the effectiveness of one-to-one social interactions for treating verbally disruptive behaviors

J. Cohen-Mansfield, P. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior studies indicate that verbally disruptive behaviors signal discomfort and, probably, loneliness and fear among nursing home residents. In order to address these feelings, residents were exposed to a one-to-one interaction with a trained research assistant. The content of the interaction and the reaction of the residents were recorded by the research assistant. The effectiveness of the interaction was assessed by coding audiotapes of verbal disruptive behaviors prior to and during the intervention. Forty-one verbally disruptive nursing home residents participated in the study. The most common activity was talking to the resident about the weather or about family and the second one was reading to the resident. The resident's response to the intervention during the first session predicted the response in all other sessions. The intervention was more effective for residents who were less cognitively impaired (relative to this population). Talking about the past, the resident's hobbies, holidays, food, and family were associated with decreases in verbally disruptive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mental Health and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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