Objective: A pilot study was performed to examine the efficacy of indoor gardening on sleep, agitation and cognition of dementia patients.
Method: Twenty-three institutionalized dementia patients who had sleep disturbance and/or agitation participated in a 5-week study protocol of 1 week of baseline and 4 weeks of treatment. The study design was a one group repeated measures study. For the first and fifth week of the study period, sleep patterns, agitation, and cognition were evaluated using a sleep diary, Modified Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale respectively.
Results: Significant improvement in wake after sleep onset, nap, nocturnal sleep time, and nocturnal sleep efficiency was identified. On the contrary sleep onset time, wake-up time, total sleep time did not change after indoor gardening. Agitation and cognition score was significantly improved.
Conclusion: Indoor gardening was found to be effective for sleep, agitation, and cognition of dementia patients. Randomized controlled studies of larger sample size are needed to confirm treatment effect.