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The main objective of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to identify the effects of reminiscence therapy in people with dementia (PWD).
A systematic search of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted using bibliographic databases. A total of 157 original published studies were identified in the search, and 24 complete articles were included in the final review to check for the level of evidence. Two of the study authors independently assessed the quality of the included studies using the “Risk of Bias” (ROB) tool developed by the Cochrane Collaboration. Depression, quality of life, and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) were selected to measure the effect of reminiscence therapy. To determine the effects of reminiscence therapy on these variables, each individual study was analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Software® (Biostat, Englewood, NJ, USA).
The overall effect size was presented using standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals. Cohen’s d effect size for depression was -0.541 (95% CI: -0.847 to -0.234, Z = -3.730, p<0.001), indicating that depression was significantly reduced in the reminiscence group compared to the control group. Increased quality of life and decreased BPSD were also found in the reminiscence group compared to the control group.
Reminiscence therapy has a moderate effect on depression and can be broadly used to decrease depression as an alternative to antipsychotics, which can have harmful side effects and high cost.
Park, Kyongok & Lee, Seonhye & Yang, JeongEun & Song, Taekwon & Hong, Gwi-Ryung. (2019). A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effect of reminiscence therapy for people with dementia. International Psychogeriatrics. 1-17. 10.1017/S1041610218002168.
Agitation is a common problem in patients suffering from dementia and encompasses a variety of behaviors such as repetitive acts, restlessness, wandering, and aggressive behaviors. Agitation reduces the probability of positive social interaction and increases the psychological and organizational burden. While medical interventions are common, there is need for complementary or alternative methods. Music intervention has been brought forward as a promising method to reduce agitation in dementia. While interventions, target groups and research designs differ, there has so far not been a systematic overview assessing the effect of music intervention for agitation in patients with dementia. A meta-analysis was conducted in order to investigate possible effects of music interventions. Twelve studies met inclusion criteria. Music intervention had a medium overall effect on agitation in dementia, suggesting robust clinical relevance. While the moderate number of studies does not allow for further differentiation between sub-types of music intervention, the sub-group comparisons indicated promising pathways for future systematic reviews. This meta-analysis is the first systematic and quantitative overview supporting clinically and statistically robust effects of music intervention on agitation in dementia. The analysis provides further arguments for this non-pharmacological approach and highlights needs for future systematic research reviews for the investigation of intervention types.
Pedersen SKA, Andersen PN, Lugo RG, Andreassen M, Sütterlin S. Effects of Music on Agitation in Dementia: A Meta-Analysis. Front Psychol. 2017;8:742. Published 2017 May 16. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00742
Virtual Reality (VR) has emerged as a promising tool in many domains of therapy and rehabilitation, and has recently attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians working with elderly people with MCI, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Here we present a study testing the feasibility of using highly realistic image-based rendered VR with patients with MCI and dementia. We designed an attentional task to train selective and sustained attention, and we tested a VR and a paper version of this task in a single-session within-subjects design. Results showed that participants with MCI and dementia reported to be highly satisfied and interested in the task, and they reported high feelings of security, low discomfort, anxiety and fatigue. In addition, participants reported a preference for the VR condition compared to the paper condition, even if the task was more difficult. Interestingly, apathetic participants showed a preference for the VR condition stronger than that of non-apathetic participants. These findings suggest that VR-based training can be considered as an interesting tool to improve adherence to cognitive training in elderly people with cognitive impairment.
Manera V, Chapoulie E, Bourgeois J, Guerchouche R, David R, Ondrej J, et al. (2016) A Feasibility Study with Image-Based Rendered Virtual Reality in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151487. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151487