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Thesis: Snoezelen® as Multisensory Stimulation to Promote Healthy Ageing

Luxwolda, M. (2017) Thesis: Snoezelen® as Multisensory Stimulation to Promote Healthy Ageing. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.

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Worldwide the population of elderly people is increasing rapidly and with this demographic change, interest for their societal, scientific and economic value rises. The experienced older brain contains a great deal of crystallized intelligence, so measures to keep it vital are of significant importance. A harmless non-pharmacologic intervention known from therapeutic application in different pathologies is multisensory stimulation, which stimulates the nervous system through the different senses and creates alertness. Developed as Snoezelen® therapy, patients spend time in a specific room full of different visual, tactile, olfactory, auditory and gustatory stimuli. In this study, I seek to find key aspects of beneficial effects caused by Snoezelen® therapy applied in different pathologic conditions, which reveal possible implications for applying this therapy to healthy ageing individuals undergoing normal cognitive decline. Most applied in care institutions for people with dementia, Snoezelen® sessions increase happiness, interest, and calmness while reducing agitation. The effects increase when a person is institutionalized, a living environment normally perceived as impoverished, relative to living among family members. Beneficial effects on mood and behaviour are highest when a person is in discomfort and experiences high agitational levels, as regularly seen in people with Rett Syndrome or Intellectual Disability Disorders. Studies with brain-injured patients revealed Snoezelen® therapy affects the central nervous system by inducing a slowing of EEG oscillatory activity and a decrease in EEG complexity and irregularity, stimulating a state of relaxation. Any positive effects so far measured have been short-term and decreased over time. This thesis reveals the difficulty of drawing an overall conclusion in relation to the most beneficial effects of multisensory stimulation used in Snoezelen® therapy. More high quality detailed quantitative research is recommended, especially focusing on amplifying a substantial collection of long-term evidence-based practice. If well-grounded evidence for the so far seemingly beneficial effects on mood and behaviour for institutionalized older people were to be gathered, Snoezelen® therapy would implicate an easy and harmless non-pharmacological tool for maintaining a healthy ageing vital brain.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:31

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