Research Article  |   August 2017
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions to Enhance Occupational Performance for Adults With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Major Neurocognitive Disorders: A Systematic Review
Author Affiliations
  • Stacy Smallfield, DrOT, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, is Assistant Director, Entry-Level Doctoral Program, and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; stacy.smallfield@wustl.edu
  • Cindy Heckenlaible, MS, OTR/L, is Inpatient/Outpatient Occupational Therapist, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD. At the time of the review, she was Graduate Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of South Dakota, Vermillion
Article Information
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia / Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Evidence-Based Practice / Neurologic Conditions / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Special Issue: Evidence Review
Research Article   |   August 2017
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions to Enhance Occupational Performance for Adults With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Major Neurocognitive Disorders: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2017, Vol. 71, 7105180010p1-7105180010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024752
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2017, Vol. 71, 7105180010p1-7105180010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.024752
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this systematic review was to describe the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions designed to establish, modify, and maintain occupations for adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurocognitive disorders.

METHOD. Titles and abstracts of 2,597 articles were reviewed, of which 256 were retrieved for full review and 52 met inclusion criteria. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force levels of certainty and grade definitions were used to describe the strength of evidence.

RESULTS. Articles were categorized into five themes: occupation-based, sleep, cognitive, physical exercise, and multicomponent interventions. Strong evidence supports the benefits of occupation-based interventions, physical exercise, and error-reduction learning.

CONCLUSION. Occupational therapy practitioners should integrate daily occupations, physical exercise, and error-reduction techniques into the daily routine of adults with AD to enhance occupational performance and delay functional decline. Future research should focus on establishing consensus on types and dosage of exercise and cognitive interventions.