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Non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia: A review of reviews

Research Priority: Optimising health and wellbeing
Researchers: Claudia Meyer, Fleur O’Keefe
Study population: Residential aged care

Aged care services increasingly respond to the needs of people with dementia. Non-pharmacological approaches are preferable to reduce responsive behaviours, improve or maintain functional capacity and reduce emotional disorders. This rapid review of systematic reviews aimed to consolidate the evidence for non-pharmacological interventions for dementia in residential aged care.

This review integrated the evidence and assessed ease of implementation into routine care. Our findings highlight that no single program or intervention will meet the needs of all residents. Importantly, these interventions need to be viewed alongside individual needs and preferences.

Working collaboratively with the person with dementia using evidence-based interventions will allow aged care providers to truly understand the needs and preferences of their residents, to form a foundation of care that is both person-centred and best practice.

Non-pharma diagram


Meyer, C., & O’Keefe, F. (2018). Non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia: A review of reviews. Dementia. doi:10.1177/1471301218813234.