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Using tactile stimulation in a dementia care facility with plasma prolactine as an outcome measure: a pilot study
Center of Nursing Science, Örebro University Hospital.
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. (Vårdvetenskap, enheten för omvårdnadsvetenskap)
Center of Nursing Science, Örebro University Hospital.
Intitution of Neurobiology, Caring Science adn Society, Karolinska Institutet.
2008 (English)In: Archives: the international journal of medicine, ISSN 1791-4000, Vol. I, no 3, 123-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundThere is poor scientific documentation supporting tactile stimulations’ benefit as a nursing intervention. It has been theorized that older adults with dementia experience high anxiety and stress levels. High prolactin levels are associated with psychosomatic reactions and have been used to measure stress levels in adults.AimTo evaluate tactile stimulation’s effectiveness on anxiety and stress in older adults, with dementia diagnosis or signs of dementia and living in a dementia care facility, as manifested by plasma prolactin levels.Materials and MethodsTactile stimulation was given weekly by trained staff members to half the residents of a Swedish dementia care facility.The subjects were randomly selected (n=20) and were tracked in the study for a minimum of 28 weeks. The remaining half elders made up the control team (n=20). Diagnostic groups were formed according the severity of dementia. Plasma prolactin levels were drawn at baseline and post intervention. Medications caused the exclusion of 12 residents and seven dropped out due to other causes. ResultsThere was no difference in plasma prolactin levels between the intervention (n=11) and control (n=12) group. A significant main effect between the diagnostic groups was found as well as a trend towards a positive correlation between age and plasma prolactin levels. There was no gender difference in plasma prolactin levels.ConclusionsOur hypothesis that reduced plasma prolactin levels could be detected in elders treated with tactile stimulation, indicating alleviated stress, was not supported by the preliminary results of the present study. Further evaluation of tactile stimulation with larger study groups and a better understanding of prolactin’s sensitivity, complexity and interaction with medications could contribute to the outcome and problems of the study. The use of neuropsychological assessment could enrich the research data and help the evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. I, no 3, 123-129 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5656OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5656DiVA: diva2:173783
Available from: 2009-02-17 Created: 2009-02-17 Last updated: 2010-10-11Bibliographically approved

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