Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the mid-term efficacy of life review activities on the quality of life (QOL) of the elderly by conducting a randomized controlled trial, and to identify the factors that should be taken into consideration when conducting life review activities.
Methods: Written consent was obtained from 80 of the 97 eligible elderly persons. After randomly assigning them to two groups, an intervention group and a control group, group life review activities were conducted in the intervention group and discussion activities about health were conducted in the control group. In both the intervention group and the control group, life satisfaction, self-esteem, depression, and hopelessness were evaluated using self-rating scales at three points: at baseline, immediately after completion of the 8 weeks of sessions, and 3 months after completion of the intervention.
Results: Repeated measures analysis of covariance showed significant differences between the two groups in the changes in scores for depression (p = 0.04) and hopelessness (p = 0.04). Regarding the factors that were associated with depression and hopelessness, 3 months after completion of the intervention, depression and hopelessness of a more severe nature at baseline and having greater unresolved conflicts in the past were extracted by multiple regression analysis.
Conclusions: The results suggested that group life review activities have a role in assisting the developmental stage of old age and supporting mental health, and have mid- to long-term effectiveness in maintaining and improving the QOL of the elderly.