Dose–Response Relationships of Multisensory Intervention on Hospitalized Patients With Chronic Schizophrenia

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Background: Patients with chronic schizophrenia often show negative emotional responses because of cognitive impairment. Multisensory stimulation therapy has been shown effective in improving cognitive and emotional functions in cognitively impaired patients with dementia. However, very few studies have applied this multisensory intervention to patients with chronic schizophrenia. Furthermore, it is not known whether a dose–response relationship exists between the frequency and efficacy of this intervention. Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the effects and dose–response of the multisensory intervention on patients with chronic schizophrenia in a mental rehabilitation hospital. Methods: A crossover study design with a sample size of 60 was conducted. Participants were divided equally between an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received the intervention in a multisensory stimulation room. Six sessions of the 30-minute sensory intervention were conducted on experimental group participants, who were allowed to select their preferred stimulants. In contrast, the control group received routine care only. After a 2-week washout period, participants in the experimental group were reassigned to the control group, and those in the control group were reassigned to the experimental group. Standardized questionnaires were applied to evaluate psychotic symptoms, emotional responses, and well-being of all participants. The NeXus-4 model wireless biofeedback system was used to measure the psychological–physiological parameters of participants at baseline and after the first, third, and sixth sessions of the multisensory intervention. A generalized estimating equation model was used to analyze the effects of the intervention Results: Although multisensory stimulation therapy had no significant effect on psychotic symptoms and well-being, this intervention may improve the negative emotional reactions of patients. In particular, the intervention significantly reduced the subjective anxiety level of participants and stabilized their objective respiratory and heart rates. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between the efficacy of the treatment and the frequency of the intervention. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Evidence from this study validated the multisensory stimulation therapy protocol. Therefore, this protocol may be incorporated into clinical interventions to improve quality of care and to alleviate the negative emotions of patients with chronic schizophrenia.

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Journal of Nursing Research





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