The experience of family carers attending a joint reminiscence group with people with dementia: A thematic analysis

Nina Melunsky, Nadia Crellin, Emma Dudzinski, Martin Orrell, Jennifer Wenborn, Fiona Poland, Bob Woods, Georgina Charlesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Reminiscence therapy has the potential to improve quality of life for people with dementia. In recent years reminiscence groups have extended to include family members, but carers' experience of attending joint sessions is undocumented. This qualitative study explored the experience of 18 family carers attending 'Remembering Yesterday Caring Today' groups. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: experiencing carer support; shared experience; expectations (met and unmet), carer perspectives of the person with dementia's experience; and learning and comparing. Family carers' experiences varied, with some experiencing the intervention as entirely positive whereas others had more mixed feelings. Negative aspects included the lack of respite from their relative, the lack of emphasis on their own needs, and experiencing additional stress and guilt through not being able to implement newly acquired skills. These findings may explain the failure of a recent trial of joint reminiscence groups to replicate previous findings of positive benefit. More targeted research within subgroups of carers is required to justify the continued use of joint reminiscence groups in dementia care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-859
Number of pages18
Issue number6
Early online date26 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • RYCT
  • caregiving
  • dementia
  • family carers
  • psychosocial interventions
  • thematic analysis
  • reminiscence

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