Evid Based Nurs 5:20 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.1.20
  • Treatment

Review: pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions improve outcomes in patients with dementia and their caregivers

 QUESTION: Do pharmacological, educational, or other non-pharmacological interventions improve outcomes in patients with dementia or their caregivers?

Data sources

Studies were identified to July 2000 by searching Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, CINAHL, Current Contents, Psychological Abstracts, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane databases using search terms including Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular or multi-infarct dementia, dementia with associated parkinsonian disorder, progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia, and senile dementia. Additional search terms were question specific. Bibliographies of relevant papers were also reviewed.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials published in any language or other types of studies published in English, and if they included >20 participants.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on study quality, participant characteristics, interventions, outcome measures, and results.

Main results

380 papers met the selection criteria. Several studies comparing cholinesterase inhibitors (eg, tacrine, donepezil, tartrate, and galantamine) with placebo showed that the drugs were more effective than placebo …

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