CBT for Mood and Insomnia in Persons with Dementia

Categories: In the News|By |Published On: January 31, 2022|

Cognitive behavioral therapy can improve anxiety, depression, and quality of life in persons with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.

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Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented intervention that aims to improve detrimental emotional or behavioral distress by modifying individuals' thought processes. This review evaluates the efficacy and specific adaptations of CBT in persons with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Methods: A literature search of PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO was conducted up to March 2020. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias criteria.
Results: Twelve publications were identified. Seven of the studies demonstrated CBT efficacy to improve depression, anxiety, and/or quality of life. One study's positive postintervention outcome became insignificant with longer term follow up. Two of the studies improved sleep outcomes. Four studies integrated caregivers into intervention delivery. Three studies utilized content, memory, and adherence adaptations aimed to improve intervention efficacy. Two studies included adaptations to address caregiver burden and depression.
Conclusion: There is strong evidence to suggest that CBT is associated with improvements in anxiety, depression, and quality of life in persons with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. CBT showed a reduction in insomnia and improvements in sleep quality. However, there is insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on the effects of CBT on insomnia. These results suggest that further investigation into insomnia outcomes is needed.


Find the full study: Jin JW, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy for mood and insomnia in persons with dementia: a systematic review. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Oct-Dec 01;35(4):366-373. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000454.