MEYER Claudia, O'KEEFE Fleur
Objective: Aged care services increasingly respond to the needs of people with dementia. Non-pharmacological approaches are preferable to reduce responsive behaviours, improve/maintain functional capacity and reduce emotional disorders. This rapid review of systematic reviews aimed to consolidate the evidence for non-pharmacological interventions and determine outcome effectiveness. Methods: Systematic review literature was comprehensively searched for non-pharmacological interventions for dementia in residential care. Quality ratings used adapted GRADE methodology, and ease of implementation assessed. Results: Of 629 abstracts screened, 81 full-text articles were retrieved, 38 articles included. The strongest evidence for reducing responsive behaviours was music, sensory stimulation, simulated presence and validation therapies. Exercise and light therapy improved/maintained activities of daily living, while cognitive stimulation and reminiscence improved cognition. Strongest evidence for reducing emotional disorders was music, psychological interventions and reminiscence. Conclusion: Much evidence of varying quality exists, with resource-constrained residential care providers now able to make evidence-based decisions about non-pharmacological interventions.