Use of doll therapy for people with dementia: an overview
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Use of doll therapy for people with dementia: an overview

Gary Mitchell PhD student, Queen’s University Belfast

Gary Mitchell presents the arguments for and against this controversial, but popular, intervention

Over the past decade, dolls have been used increasingly as a therapeutic device for people with dementia. While there has not been much empirical research carried out on the topic, current evidence suggests that engagement with dolls can promote wellbeing. This has been described in the literature as a reduction in challenging behaviour, greater engagement with others and even increased dietary intake. Providing people with dementia with dolls has supporters and critics. This article seeks to supply healthcare professionals with a synopsis of the phenomenon as well as illuminating some of the pertinent debates associated with this therapy.

Nursing Older People. 26, 4, 24-26. doi: 10.7748/nop2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 09 February 2014

Accepted: 28 February 2014