Objective: To review systematically, for the first time, the effectiveness of all pharmacologic interventions to improve quality of life and well-being in people with dementia.
Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Methods: We systematically reviewed the 15 randomized controlled trials and one review that fitted predetermined criteria. We included studies that reported the outcomes quality of life, well-being, happiness, or pleasure.
Measurements: We rated the validity of studies using a checklist. We calculated mean differences between intervention and control groups at follow-up.
Results: None of the evaluated trials reported a significant benefit to quality of life or well-being for people with dementia when comparing those taking a drug or its comparator at follow-up (pooled weighted mean difference: 0.18 [95% confidence interval: -0.82 to 0.46]).
Conclusion: We found no consistent evidence that any drug improves quality of life in people with dementia. We recommend that all dementia trials should include quality of life as an outcome, as this is important to patients, and cannot be presumed from improvements in cognition or other symptomatic outcomes, especially if the latter are small.
Copyright © 2013 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.