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Cheng S.-T.,The Hong Kong Institute of Education | Chow P.K.,The Hong Kong Institute of Education | Yu E.C.S.,Kwai Chung Hospital | Chan A.C.M.,University of Hong Kong
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2012

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether leisure activities can alleviate depressive symptoms among nursing home residents with very mild to mild dementia. METHODS: A cluster-randomized open-label controlled design. Thirty-six residents with at least moderate depressive symptoms were randomized by home into three conditions-mahjong (a.k.a. mah-jongg), tai chi, and handicrafts (placebo). Activities were conducted three times weekly for 12 weeks. Outcome measure was Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) administered at baseline, posttreatment, and at 6 months. RESULTS: Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed a group by time interaction on the GDS. Unlike control and tai chi participants whose scores remained relatively unchanged, the mahjong group reported a drop of 3.25 points (95% confidence interval: 1.00-5.50) on the GDS at posttreatment but gained back 2.83 points (95% confidence interval: 1.95-5.47) at 6 months. Activity discontinuation might be the reason for depression to return to baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Mahjong can lower depressive symptoms in those with mild dementia, but activity maintenance may be essential for long-term effects. © 2012 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Man D.W.K.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Chung J.C.C.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Lee G.Y.Y.,Kwai Chung Hospital
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Background Older adults with questionable dementia are at risk of progressing to dementia, and early intervention is considered important. The present study investigated the effectiveness of a virtual reality (VR)-based memory training for older adults with questionable dementia. Methods A pre-test and post-test design was adopted. Twenty and 24 older adults with questionable dementia were randomly assigned to a VR-based and a therapist-led memory training group, respectively. Primary outcome measures included the Multifactorial Memory Questionnaire and Fuld Object Memory Evaluation. Results Both groups demonstrated positive training effects, with the VR group showing greater improvement in objective memory performance and the non-VR group showing better subjective memory subtest results in the Multifactorial Memory Questionnaire. Conclusion The use of VR seems to be acceptable for older adults with questionable dementia. Further study on the effect of educational background and memory training modality (visual, auditory) is warranted. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Chiu M.Y.L.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Ho W.W.N.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Lo W.T.L.,Kwai Chung Hospital | Yiu M.G.C.,United Christian Hospital
Quality of Life Research | Year: 2010

Purpose: To test empirically the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recovery model. Methods: Two hundred and four attendants aged 18-60, with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, from two participating outpatient clinics were interviewed with a number of inventories, including health-related quality of life measure (WHOQOL-BREF (HK)). Canonical correlation analysis was performed on two sets of variables (SAMHSA recovery components and QoL domain scores). Results: There were significant correlations between most recovery components proposed in the SAMHSA recovery statement and the health-related quality of life measure. Age, duration of untreated psychosis, the degree of social support, the interaction of singlehood and the number of confidants, engagement in competitive careers, and the duration of participation in community support services were all found to be important predictors. Conclusions: The SAMHSA consensus statement appeared to contain valid concepts for Chinese subjects. It presented new challenges for psychiatric rehabilitation and reminded the policy makers that there is much more psychiatric rehabilitation can achieve beyond symptom control and patient management. It also demonstrated that resolve and the commitment of resources to combat stigma, develop resilience, and foster patient empowerment were very much needed in Hong Kong and perhaps in Asia and elsewhere. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Two women presented independently with a clinical picture of mania-like psychosis after taking over-the-counter herbal slimming pills. Subsequent toxicology investigation found sibutramine in the samples of both patients. Sibutramine is an effective pharmacological treatment for obesity with a relatively favourable side-effect profile. However, neuropsychiatric side-effects of sibutramine have emerged with increasing use of the medication. Sibutramine may be associated with the development of psychotic symptoms in susceptible individuals. Further studies should aim at establishing any causal relationship between sibutramine and psychosis. There also seems to be an emerging trend of adulteration of over-the-counter slimming products with pharmaceutical analogues in Hong Kong. Physicians should be vigilant to the possibility of non-prescribed drug use when patients present with suspicious symptoms while using herbal remedies. © 2010 Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.

Cheng S.-T.,The Hong Kong Institute of Education | Chow P.K.,The Hong Kong Institute of Education | Yu E.C.S.,Kwai Chung Hospital | Chan A.C.M.,University of Hong Kong | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Objectives: To examine the effects of cognitive stimulation (mahjong) and physical exercise (tai chi [TC]) on cognitive performance in persons with dementia. Design: Cluster-randomized open-label controlled design. Setting: Nursing homes. Participants: One hundred ten residents,most ofwhomwere cholinesterase-inhibitor naive. Inclusion criteria were Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) = 10-24 and suffering from at least very mild dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating ≥ 0.5). Exclusion criteria were being bedbound, audio/visual impairment, regular activity participation before study, or contraindications for physical or group activities. Interventions: Homes were randomized into three conditions (mahjong, TC, and simple handicrafts [control]). Activities were conducted three times weekly for 12 weeks. Measurements: Primary outcome was MMSE. Secondary outcomes were immediate/delayed recall, categorical fluency, and digit span. Various biological risk factors, including apolipoprotein E e4 allele, were included as covariates. Measures were collected at 0 (baseline), 3 (posttreatment), 6, and 9 months. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses were performed using mixed-effects regression. Mahjong's effect varied by time for MMSE, delayed recall, and forward digit span. TC had similar effects but not for delayed recall. The typical pattern was that control participants deteriorated while mahjong and TC participants maintained their abilities over time, leading to enlarged treatment effects as time progressed. By 9 months, mahjong and TC differed from control by 4.5 points (95% confidence interval: 2.0-6.9; d = 0.48) and 3.7 points (95% confidence interval: 1.4-6.0; d = 0.40), respectively, on MMSE. No treatment effects were observed for immediate recall and backward digit span. Conclusions: Mahjong and TC can preserve functioning or delay decline in certain cognitive domains, even in those with significant cognitive impairment. © 2014 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

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