Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

A Systematic Review of Evidence Underpinning Non-Pharmacological Therapies in Dementia

Richard Olley , Andrea Aldas


Abstract Dementia is one of the most common illnesses worldwide, and is one of the most important causes of disability in older people. Currently, dementia affects over 35 million people around the globe. It is expected that this number will increase to 65.7 million by 2030. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment to control the principal behaviour symptoms may help to reduce these numbers and delay the progression to more advanced and dangerous stages of this disorder. with resultant increase quality of life for those affected. The main goal of this systematic literature review is to examine contemporary evidence relating to non-pharmacological therapy in the treatment of dementia. To achieve this goal, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was used. This study identifies the five most common behaviours in patients with dementia as, aggression, wandering, agitation, apathy, and sleep disturbances. Two non-pharmacological therapies were the most studied treatment: music therapy and aromatherapy. Ten other non-pharmacological therapies were also identified, however, these lack a sufficient evidence-base. Although all of these therapies could be used as part of the treatment of behaviours symptoms, there is insufficient evidence relating to indications, appropriate use and effectiveness of these therapies to apply in each behaviour. A significant research gap is demonstrated.

AH16212  Accepted 27 March 2017

© CSIRO 2017