Review of Interventions for BPSD: a SENATOR-ONTOP Systematic Review (BMJ Open)


A recent broad-ranging systematic review of non-pharmacological interventions for behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD) covers (i) sensory stimulation, including acupressure, aromatherapy, massage / touch therapy, light therapy and sensory gardens, (ii) cognitive / emotion-oriented interventions including cognitive stimulation, music and dance therapy, dance therapy, snoezelen, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, reminiscence therapy, validation therapy and simulated presence therapy, (iii) behaviour management techniques and (iv) other therapies including exercise therapy, animal-assisted therapy, special care units and dining room environment-based interventions.

Music therapy appears to be effective in reducing agitation and anxiety. Behavioural management techniques appear to be effective for reducing BPSD:

“Home-based behavioural management techniques, caregiver-based interventions or staff training in communication skills, person-centred care or dementia care mapping with supervision during implementation were found to be effective for symptomatic and severe agitation”.

Full Text Link


Abraha, I. Rimland, JM. [and] Trotta, FM. [et al] (2017). Systematic review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacological interventions to treat behavioural disturbances in older patients with dementia. The SENATOR-OnTop series. BMJ Open. March 16th 2017; 7(3): e012759.

About the SENATOR-ONTOP Systematic Reviews

The SENATOR-ONTOP series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses aims to assess the evidence for non-pharmacological interventions designed to prevent or treat various common geriatric conditions.

“The Optimal Evidence-Based Non-drug Therapies in Older People (ONTOP) project [aims to achieve an] extensive, comprehensive systematic overview of reviews concerning non-pharmacological interventions for chronic geriatric conditions as well as the provision of a Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach-based recommendation of the evidence of non-pharmacological interventions”.

Full Text Link


Abraha, I. Cruz-Jentoft, A. [and] Soiza. [et al] (2017). Evidence of and recommendations for non-pharmacological interventions for common geriatric conditions: the SENATOR-ONTOP systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. January 27th 2015; 5(1): e007488.

Non-Pharmacological Prevention or Treatment of Delirium

Possibly also of interest:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Abraha, I. Rimland, JM. [and] Trotta, F. [et al] (2016). Non-pharmacological interventions to prevent or treat delirium in older patients: clinical practice recommendations. The SENATOR-ONTOP Series. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. 2016; 20(9): 927-936.

Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Pressure Ulcers

Evidence for the use any no-pharmacological therapies to aid wound healing of pressure ulcers in the elderly remains inconclusive:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Vélez-Díaz-Pallarés, M. Lozano-Montoya, I. [et al] (2015). Nonpharmacologic interventions to heal pressure ulcers in older patients: an overview of systematic reviews (The SENATOR-ONTOP Series). Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. June 1st 2015; 16(6): 448-69.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Community Care, Delirium, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), International, Management of Condition, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Scotland, Systematic Reviews, UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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