Cognitive psychosocial intervention in dementia: a systematic review

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;36(5-6):363-75. doi: 10.1159/000354365. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Background: The evolution of dementia depends on the underlying pathology, early diagnosis and the availability of effective treatment for some of the symptoms that interfere with the patients' or caregivers' quality of life. Even though there is no specific treatment to reverse dementia, some interventions such as reality orientation and skills training can retard cognitive impairment.

Aim: To review existing scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of therapies included in the category of cognition-oriented approaches for people suffering from dementia.

Methods: Papers were retrieved from several bibliographic databases (last publication date: 2009) with pre-specified selection criteria, data extraction and methodological quality assessment.

Results: Nine reality orientation and 8 skills training trials were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria.

Conclusions: Stimulation of cognitive functions, especially by means of reality orientation, improves overall cognitive function in patients suffering from dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans