Interventions for managing challenging behavior in patients with dementia

Holle, D. et al. Aging & Mental Health. Published online: 3 November 2016


Objective: Individualized formulation-led interventions offer a promising approach for analyzing and managing challenging behaviors in people with dementia. Little is known about which individualized formulation-led interventions exist and what effects these interventions have on people with dementia and their caregivers. Therefore, the review aims to describe and examine existing interventions and to review their evidence.

Methods: An integrative review of individualized formulation-led interventions for managing challenging behavior in people with dementia was conducted. PUBMED, PsycINFO [EBSCO] and CINAHL [EBSCO] databases were searched between February and April 2014 using key terms related to dementia, challenging behavior and individualized formulation- led interventions. The literature search was limited to German and English publications published from 1995. No limitations were placed on the type of paper, type of study design and stage of disease or setting. 37 relevant papers that met the inclusion criteria were included in this review.

Results: The literature review provided 14 different individualized formulation-led interventions. The effects on people with dementia were diverse, as only half of the studies showed a significant reduction in behaviors compared with the control group. Family caregivers felt less upset about the challenging behavior and more confident in their ability to manage the behavior.

Conclusion: There is a clear need for further research on individualized formulation-led interventions. The results of this review have the potential for developing interventions and for designing methodological robust evaluation studies that take into account the effectiveness of individualized formulation-led interventions on patient and caregiver outcomes.

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