Anxiety is a major mental disorder in later life that impacts on activities of daily living and quality of life for adults living with dementia in nursing homes. The aim of this article was to systematically review nonpharmacological interventions for older adults living in nursing homes who experience comorbid anxiety and dementia. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted across key databases (Cinahl, ASSIA, Cochrane reviews and trials, psycARTICLES, psycINFO, and PubMed) to identify studies measuring anxiety as an outcome for an intervention for older adults living with dementia in nursing homes, up to December 31, 2017. Results: The search yielded a total of 1,925 articles with 45 articles accessed for full article review. A total of 13 articles were included in this review following quality appraisal based on Cochrane methodology with six different anxiety measures used. The studies included were moderate to high-quality randomized control trials although heterogeneity precluded a combined meta-analysis. Clinical implications: The most common interventions used to address anxiety in this population were music therapy and activity-based interventions although there was limited evidence for the efficacy of either intervention. Little is known about effective nonpharmacological treatment for anxiety for people living with dementia in nursing homes. Further research using consistent measurement tools and time points is required to identify effective interventions to improve the quality of life for people living with both dementia and anxiety in nursing homes.
Brown Wilson, C., Arendt, L., Nguyen, M., Scott, T. L., Neville, C. C., & Pachana, N. A. (2019). Nonpharmacological Interventions for Anxiety and Dementia in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review. The Gerontologist. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnz020