Pet robot intervention for people with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Psychiatry Res. 2019 Jan:271:516-525. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.032. Epub 2018 Dec 6.


This study aims to systematically evaluate the efficacy of Pet robot intervention (PRI) for people with dementia. Two waves of electronic searches of the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane library, IEEE Digital Library and PsycINFO databases were conducted. In total, eight articles from six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) met the eligibility criteria and were included in this systematic review. The results of the meta-analysis showed a statistically significant decrease in behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), especially agitation and depression, in people with dementia who were treated with PRI. Both individual and group format PRI significantly ameliorated BPSD. However, there were no significant improvements in cognitive function or quality of life. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that PRI may be suitable as a treatment option for BPSD in people with dementia and should be considered as a useful tool in clinical practice.

Keywords: BPSD; Dementia; Meta-analysis; Pet robot intervention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pets*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Robotics*
  • Treatment Outcome