Effectiveness of Environment-Based Interventions That Address Behavior, Perception, and Falls in People With Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Major Neurocognitive Disorders: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of environment-based interventions that address behavior, perception, and falls in the home and other settings for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related major neurocognitive disorders (NCDs).

METHOD. Database searches were limited to outcomes studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals between January 2006 and April 2014.

RESULTS. A total of 1,854 articles were initially identified, of which 42 met inclusion criteria.

CONCLUSION. Strong evidence indicates that person-centered approaches can improve behavior. Moderate evidence supports noise regulation, environmental design, unobtrusive visual barriers, and environmental relocation strategies to reduce problematic behaviors. Evidence is insufficient for the effectiveness of mealtime ambient music, bright light, proprioceptive input, wander gardens, optical strategies, and sensory devices in improving behavior or reducing wandering and falls. Although evidence supports many environment-based interventions used by occupational therapy practitioners to address behavior, perception, and falls in people with AD and related major NCDs, more studies are needed.

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