Effects of the use of autobiographical photographs on emotional induction in older adults: a systematic review

Psychol Res. 2022 Jul 20. doi: 10.1007/s00426-022-01712-9. Online ahead of print.


There is evidence to support the positive contribution of autobiographical recall based techniques on individuals' quality of life, mood and cognitive functioning. In this review, we analyzed the effects of the use of personal photographs in interventions based on autobiographical memory in older people with and without cognitive impairment. The PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews were followed. The search was carried out in the electronic databases Web of Sciences (WOS), Medline (PubMed), SCIELO and PsycInfo (American Psychological Association). The articles based on clinical trials selected were evaluated using the PEDRo scale, which is specific to this type of article. Of the 1098 articles initially found, 6 met the inclusion criteria. The final articles focused their intervention on the use of autobiographical photographs as a means of stimulation. The results show that the use of photographs in different autobiographical recall stimulation techniques is associated with higher scores on well-being and quality of life, as well as with improvements in personal identity and cognitive functioning. This suggests that using personal photographs shows promise in enhancing the effect of these types of interventions in healthy or cognitively impaired older adults.