People with dementia who experience depression or anxiety can benefit from music therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and other programs that reduce their symptoms. Researchers in the United Kingdom conducted a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Study participants included nursing home residents and older adults receiving outpatient services, ranging in age from 73 to 88 years, who met criteria for dementia. In addition to CBT and music therapy, the psychosocial interventions studied in the RCTs included pleasant events behaviour therapy, problem solving behaviour therapy, exercise, Tai Chi, problem adaptation therapy, and a multicomponent intervention. Most ran for 12 to 16 weeks. The authors conclude that the multicomponent intervention, which combined CBT, reminiscence, environmental supports and a behavioural activity program, had the largest effect in treating depression, although they point out a high risk of bias in the study. Evidence was stronger for music therapy and CBT as the most effective interventions to reduce symptoms of anxiety in people with dementia.
SOURCE: Aging and Mental Health, October 17, 2018
DATE Retrieved: November 1, 2018