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Han A, Radel J, Mcdowd J, & Sabata D. The benefits of individualized leisure and social activity interventions for people with dementia: A systematic review. Activities, Adaptation & Aging. 2016; 40(3): 219-265.
• What are the benefits of individualized leisure and social activity interventions for people with dementia and how are these interventions tailored to each individual?
• Person-centred care is an individualized and holistic approach that focuses on addressing each patient as a whole person with a unique history, interests, preferences, needs, strengths, and abilities.
• The provision of meaningful individual activities is increasingly being seen as an important element of person-centred care to maintain the self, fulfill psychological needs, and promote the psychosocial well-being of people with dementia.
• This study aims to review the literature on benefits of individualized leisure and social activity interventions for people with dementia.
• Study authors searched three electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, and PsychINFO) for peer-reviewed journal articles published in English until 2014, using key words related to individualized care, leisure, social participation, and dementia.
• A total of 615 peer-reviewed studies were identified in the searches, and 32 were included in the review after assessments for eligibility.
• Overall, this review supports the benefits of individualized leisure and social activities on people with dementia.
• Individualized activities were associated with improvements in levels of engagement, agitation, withdrawn behaviours, and affect. Diverse types of leisure and social activities were involved in each of the 32 included studies.
• Factors such as music preference, interests, functional ability, and lifelong roles were used to tailor different types of leisure and social activities to each individual. Benefits were found in leisure and social activities regardless of whether the activity was individualized based on a single factor or multiple factors, although findings suggest the tailoring of activities based on interest to be the most beneficial.
• This systematic review found that individualized leisure and social activities can benefit people with dementia in a number of ways, in particular, by promoting engagement, improving affect, and reducing both agitation and withdrawn behaviours.
• Further study is needed to identify effective ways of promoting engagement through individualized leisure and social activities and thus enhancing quality of life for people with dementia not only with later stages but also with earlier stages of dementia.