The value of personalized psychosocial interventions to address behavioral and psychological symptoms in people with dementia living in care home settings: a systematic review

Int Psychogeriatr. 2014 Jul;26(7):1083-98. doi: 10.1017/S1041610214000131. Epub 2014 Feb 24.


Background: Several important systematic reviews and meta-analyses focusing on psychosocial interventions have been undertaken in the last decade. However, they have not focused specifically on the treatment of individual behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) with personalized interventions. This updated systematic review will focus on studies reporting the effect of personalized psychosocial interventions on key BPSD in care homes.

Methods: Systematic review of the evidence for psychosocial interventions for BPSD, focusing on papers published between 2000 and 2012. All care home and nursing home studies including individual and cluster randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and pre-/post-test studies with control conditions were included.

Results: 641 studies were identified, of which 40 fulfilled inclusion and exclusion criteria. There was good evidence to support the value of personalized pleasant activities with and without social interaction for the treatment of agitation, and reminiscence therapy to improve mood. The evidence for other therapies was more limited.

Conclusions: There is a growing body of evidence indicating specific effects of different personalized psychosocial interventions on individual BPSD and mood outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*