With the "growing interest in developing non-pharmacological approaches in dementia," researchers in France evaluated the effects of occupational therapy for patients with dementia. Patients were measured prior to a three month intervention, after the invention, and three months later.

The observational study found that behavioral issues were significantly reduced during the intervention and remained stable afterwards, while patient quality of life increased during the intervention. Cognitive and functional performances were stable over the three-month period.

Researchers also found benefits for caregivers, with the overall burden and the amount of informal care provided significantly reduced during the intervention and remaining stable after its conclusion.

The study, published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, concluded that occupational therapy has the potential to "be an effective intervention to maintain cognition and functionality and to reduce psychiatric symptoms in dementia patients."

Pimouguet, C; Le Goff, M; Wittwer, J; Dartigues, J; Helmer, C. Benefits of Occupational Therapy in Dementia Patients: Findings from a Real-World Observational Study.Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2016 Dec 6. http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160820
By Kindred Rehabilitation Services