How effective are psychological treatments in reducing depression and anxiety in dementia and mild cognitive impairment?
There were only a small number of studies, and there was variation between them in the type and duration of psychological treatment. There were no trials of participants with mild cognitive impairment. Five of the 6 trials were at unclear or high risk of bias due to uncertainties around randomisation, blinding and selective reporting of results.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety are common in people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Although treatment of these symptoms is widely recommended in guidelines, the best way to do this is not clear. Drugs are thought to have limited effectiveness in this context and carry the risk of significant side effects. Psychological treatments can be adapted for use with people with cognitive impairment and may offer an alternative.