Tracy Chippendale, Marie Boltz; Living Legends: Effectiveness of a Program to Enhance Sense of Purpose and Meaning in Life Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(4):6904270010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.014894
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We investigated the therapeutic benefits (i.e., sense of purpose and meaning in life) of the Living Legends program, which includes life review writing and an intergenerational exchange, compared with life review writing alone, for community-dwelling older adults.
METHOD. This study was a randomized controlled trial with a connected qualitative component. We analyzed quantitative data using independent-samples t tests and written descriptions of program experiences using Collaizi’s qualitative methodology; we then used a triangulation protocol to integrate the qualitative and quantitative data.
RESULTS. For participants in the writing workshop plus intergenerational exchange, sense of purpose and meaning in life increased significantly (p < .0001) compared with those in the writing workshop alone. Qualitative themes revealed additional program benefits.
CONCLUSION. Living Legends enhanced participants’ sense of purpose and meaning in life, a factor known to prevent cognitive loss and disability, compared with life review writing alone.
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It touched me when [name omitted] read his piece and mentioned he could not relate to my story of a close friendship. What was especially moving was that it inspired him to examine his own life and to realize that his mother was actually a close friend.
The Living Legends program promotes participation in meaningful occupations and life roles, a fundamental component of occupational therapy practice.
The program can be implemented by occupational therapists in community-based sites to enhance sense of purpose and meaning in life in older adults and thus promote healthy aging.
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