An Evidence-Based Systematic Review on Cognitive Interventions for Individuals With Dementia Purpose To evaluate the current state of research evidence related to cognitive interventions for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Method A systematic search of the literature was conducted across 27 electronic databases based on a set of a priori questions, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and search parameters. Studies ... Review Article
Review Article  |   February 01, 2013
An Evidence-Based Systematic Review on Cognitive Interventions for Individuals With Dementia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tammy Hopper
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Michelle Bourgeois
    Ohio State University
  • Jane Pimentel
    Eastern Washington University, Spokane
  • Constance Dean Qualls
    State University of New York College at Buffalo
  • Ellen Hickey
    Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Tobi Frymark
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Tracy Schooling
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Correspondence to Tobi Frymark: tfrymark@asha.org
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Heather Wright
    Associate Editor: Heather Wright×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Review Articles
Review Article   |   February 01, 2013
An Evidence-Based Systematic Review on Cognitive Interventions for Individuals With Dementia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 126-145. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0137)
History: Received November 4, 2011 , Accepted June 24, 2012
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 126-145. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0137)
History: Received November 4, 2011; Accepted June 24, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

Purpose To evaluate the current state of research evidence related to cognitive interventions for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.

Method A systematic search of the literature was conducted across 27 electronic databases based on a set of a priori questions, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and search parameters. Studies were appraised for methodological quality and categorized according to intervention technique and outcome (e.g., cognitive-communication impairment or activity limitation/participation restriction). Results were summarized and, when possible, analyzed quantitatively using indicators of treatment effect size.

Results Forty-three studies met criteria for inclusion in the review. The most commonly used cognitive intervention techniques used were errorless learning, spaced-retrieval training, vanishing cues, or verbal instruction/cueing. Most treatment outcomes were measured at the cognitive-communication impairment level of functioning and were generally positive. However, results should be interpreted cautiously because of methodological limitations across studies.

Conclusions Research evidence to support the use of cognitive interventions for individuals with dementia is accumulating. Researchers are beginning to evaluate treatment efficacy, yet the focus tends to be on discovery, specifically, refining intervention variables that will facilitate optimal outcomes. Implications for clinical practice and avenues for future research are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders (N-CEP). We thank Beverly Wang, N-CEP’s Information Manager, for the completion of the literature search and the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences Dementia Writing Committee for their previous contribution to the research on cognitive treatments.
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