Effectiveness of simulated presence therapy for individuals with dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Aging Ment Health. 2008 Nov;12(6):779-85. doi: 10.1080/13607860802380631.


Objectives: To formally assess the strength of evidence for the efficacy of simulated presence therapy for challenging behaviours in dementia (playing an audio or videotape to an individual, personalized by a carer and containing positive experiences from the client's life and shared memories involving family and friends) using meta-analytic techniques.

Method: Systematic review and meta-analysis of k = 4 studies of simulated presence therapy for challenging behaviours in dementia.

Results: Meta-analysis indicated a significance effect (d = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.38-1.02), although this was reduced when the first published study was removed from the analysis.

Conclusion: These findings provide limited support for the use of simulated presence therapy with this population and stress the importance of assessing participants' suitability for such an approach and monitoring their responses closely. Future adequately powered studies are necessary to confirm the efficacy of simulated presence therapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Psychomotor Agitation
  • Quality of Life
  • Tape Recording