Question: For patients with dementia or cognitive impairment, how effective is life story/reminiscence therapy, compared to any other intervention, for improving patient outcomes?


There is a lack of high quality consistent research evidence to support the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy in people with dementia or cognitive impairment. Some very limited evidence indicates possible effects of individual or group reminiscence therapy on cognition and depression, relative to non-active controls. Of interest is a study which compared reminiscence therapy involving patients in the preparation of a life story book to a gift of a life story book prepared by carers with expert support and found that both interventions were similarly effective in improving memory and quality of life at six months. Further high quality research is needed to adequately assess the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy and to explore the mechanisms by which any observed effects may occur.

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