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Psychosocial interventions for people with dementia: a synthesis of systematic reviews

McDermott, Orii; Charlesworth, Georgina; Hogervorst, Eef; Stoner, Charlotte; Moniz-Cook, Esme; Spector, Aimee; Csipke, Emese; Orrell, Martin


Georgina Charlesworth

Eef Hogervorst

Charlotte Stoner

Esme Moniz-Cook

Aimee Spector

Emese Csipke

Director - Institute of Mental Health


© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objectives: Over the last 10years there has been a multitude of studies of psychosocial interventions for people with dementia. However, clinical services face a dilemma about which intervention should be introduced into clinical practice because of the inconsistency in some of the findings between different studies and the differences in the study qualities and trustworthiness of evidence. There was a need to provide a comprehensive summary of the best evidence to illustrate what works. Methods: A review of the systematic reviews of psychosocial interventions in dementia published between January 2010 and February 2016 was conducted. Results: Twenty-two reviews (8 physical, 7 cognitive, 1 physical/cognitive and 6 other psychosocial interventions) with a total of 197 unique studies met the inclusion criteria. Both medium to longer-term multi-component exercise of moderate to high intensity, and, group cognitive stimulation consistently show benefits. There is not sufficient evidence to determine whether psychological or social interventions might improve either mood or behaviour due to the heterogeneity of the studies and interventions included in the reviews. Conclusion: There is good evidence that multi-component exercise with sufficient intensity improves global physical and cognitive functions and activities of daily living skills. There is also good evidence that group-based cognitive stimulation improves cognitive functions, social interaction and quality of life. This synthesis also highlights the potential importance of group activities to improve social integration for people with dementia. Future research should investigate longer-term specific outcomes, consider the severity and types of dementia, and investigate mechanisms of change.


McDermott, O., Charlesworth, G., Hogervorst, E., Stoner, C., Moniz-Cook, E., Spector, A., …Orrell, M. (2019). Psychosocial interventions for people with dementia: a synthesis of systematic reviews. Aging and Mental Health, 23(4), 393-403.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Dec 26, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 17, 2018
Publication Date Apr 3, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2018
Journal Aging & Mental Health
Print ISSN 1360-7863
Electronic ISSN 1364-6915
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 393-403
Keywords Phychiatric Mental Health; Gerontology; Geriatrics and Gerontology; Psychiatry and Mental health
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging and Mental Health on 17 January 2018 , available online:


McDermott Psychosocial interventions for people with dementia a synthesis of systematic reviews.pdf (937 Kb)

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