Distress is one of the most common clinical manifestations associated with dementia. Pharmacological intervention may be appropriate in managing distress in some people. However, best practice guidelines advocate non-pharmacological interventions as the preferred first-line treatment. The use of non-pharmacological interventions encourages healthcare professionals to be more person-centred in their approach, while considering the causes of distress. This article provides healthcare professionals with an overview of some of the non-pharmacological approaches that can assist in alleviating distress for people living with dementia including: reminiscence therapy, reality orientation, validation therapy, music therapy, horticultural therapy, doll therapy and pet therapy. It provides a summary of their use in clinical practice and links to the relevant literature.
Nursing Standard. 30, 13, 38-44. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.13.38.s45Correspondence
All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.
Received: 12 November 2014
Accepted: 11 December 2014
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