Simulated presence therapy for dementia: A systematic review protocol

Iosief Abraha, Joseph M. Rimland, Isabel Lozano-Montoya, Giuseppina Dell'Aquila, Manuel Vélez-Díaz-Pallarés, Fabiana M. Trotta, Antonio Cherubini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: The majority of patients with dementia develop behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Non-pharmacological interventions are an appealing alternative for the treatment of BPSD in patients with dementia. Simulated presence therapy (SPT) is a simple and inexpensive non-pharmacological intervention that can be used to treat BPSD. We propose a Cochrane protocol for the collection and assessment of evidence concerning the efficacy of SPT to treat relevant outcomes in people with dementia. Methods and analysis: We will search the following electronic databases: the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group's Specialised Register MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, LILACS, CENTRAL and a number of trial registers as well as grey literature sources. We will include randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials (including cross-over studies) that evaluated SPT in people with dementia. Comparators such as usual care with no additional activity, or any activity that differs in content and approach from SPT, but is additional to usual care, will be considered. The primary outcomes of interest will comprise behavioural and psychological symptoms, as measured by relevant scales, and quality of life. Two review authors working independently and in tandem will be involved in title and abstract screening, full-text screening and data abstraction. Where possible, quantitative data will be pooled, and relative risk and mean difference with 95% CI will be employed for dichotomous and continuous data, respectively. Assessment of risk of bias will be performed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool and the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval is not required. The final results of this systematic review will be presented to the Cochrane Library and will also be disseminated at relevant conference presentations. Trial registration number: CRD42015029778.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011007
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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