Effectiveness of home-based, non-exercise interventions for dementia: A systematic review

Davynn Gim Hoon Tan (Corresponding Author), Belinda Melody Bernadette Boo, Cheyenne Shuen Chong, Megan Michelle Ling Li Tan, Boon Seng Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Dementia is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by cognitive decline and increased functional dependency. With most persons living with dementia (PLWDs) residing at home, home-based interventions provide a convenient and individualized alternative for person-centered care. Most of the evidence focused on specific interventions or exercise-based activities; there remains a gap in understanding the impacts of a broader range of non-exercise interventions on PLWDs and their caregivers. This review aimed to understand the impacts of home-based, non-exercise interventions on the behavioral, functional, cognitive, and mood outcomes of PLWDs, and their caregiver's quality of life (QoL), burden and mood. Methods: Search for studies published up to June 2020 was conducted on CINAHL, PsycArticles, PubMed, SAGE Journals, Science Direct, and Web of Science. A search was also done manually based on the bibliographies of selected articles. The inclusion criteria for the systematic review were: (i) participants with a medical diagnosis of dementia, (ii) participants who resided at own home, (iii) intervention in the home setting, (iv) investigate interventions other than physical exercise, (v) randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-experimental studies, and (vi) full-text study published in English and in a peer-reviewed journal. Results and discussion: Eighteen studies consisting of 14 RCTs and 4 quasi-experimental studies were included. Interventions included were occupational therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, tailored activity program, cognitive stimulation therapy, personalized reminiscence, music therapy, reality orientation, biobehavioral and multicomponent interventions. Results were mixed, but important intervention features were highlighted. Personalized activities for PLWDs that are aligned to their interest and ability appeared to contribute to intervention effectiveness especially in reducing behavioral symptoms and improving functional status. Involvement of caregivers in interventions is another feature of effective interventions for both the PLWDs and the caregivers' QoL, provided it is not deemed demanding or challenging to the caregivers. The inclusion of caregiver's education was effective in reducing caregivers' burden, particularly when the interventions improved the PLWD's functional status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number846271
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral symptoms
  • caregiver
  • cognition
  • dementia
  • functional status
  • home-based
  • mood
  • QoL home-based intervention for dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of home-based, non-exercise interventions for dementia: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this