The impact of individual reminiscence therapy for people with dementia: systematic review

Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 May;12(5):545-55. doi: 10.1586/ern.12.35.


This systematic review aims to review the potential psychosocial benefits of individual reminiscence therapy for people with dementia. Five randomized controlled trials were identified. All were carried out in nursing or care homes, and several different approaches were represented. The studies reported some immediate and longer-term psychosocial benefits to people with dementia of individual reminiscence work, where this involved a life review process or personalized, specific reminiscence work. These benefits included mood, well-being and aspects of cognitive function. There was no evidence that the use of general reminiscence materials was associated with psychosocial benefits. The use of life story books and multimedia alternatives, with or without an associated life review process, does appear to be worth pursuing from both clinical and research perspectives.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reality Therapy