The occurrence of the neuropsychiatric disturbances is common feature in dementia. Nonpharmacological
interventions are the first approach to manage these symptoms. We reviewed the
available literature data on psychological interventions for neuropsychiatric disturbances in Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) focusing on the significant impact on people with dementia and their caregivers.
Reminiscence interventions showed evidences of an improvement in cognition and mood in people
with dementia as well as a decrease in caregiver burden. Reality orientation therapy was related to
an increase in cognition, a decrease in dysfunctional behaviors and a reduced risk of institutionalization
among people with AD. However, the potential benefits need a continued program. Cognitive
stimulation therapy showed improvement on the functional ability and decrease negative emotional
symptoms, when combined with acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Studies based on behavioral approaches
found a significant reduction in disruptive behaviors following intervention, agitated speech,
a reduction in entry into a restricted area and a reduction in wandering frequency across participants.
There is evidence that only multicomponent interventions can decrease caregivers’ psychological
morbidity and reduce their burden. The challenge for future research in psychological approaches in
dementia is related to the need of larger and high quality evidence-base studies with well define outcomes
aiming their effectiveness through a well-design protocol to evaluate their benefits.
Keywords: Behavioral and psychological symptoms, behavioral approach, burden, cognitive stimulation therapy, dementia,
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