Cognitive stimulation as a therapeutic modality for dementia: A meta-analysis

Kayoung Kim, Ji Won Han, Yoonseop So, Jiyeong Seo, You Joung Kim, Joon Hyuk Park, Seok Bum Lee, Jung Jae Lee, Hyun Ghang Jeong, Tae Hui Kim, Ki Woong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Although cognitive stimulation (CS) is one of the most popular non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia, its efficacy is still debatable. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the efficacy of CS in people with dementia. Methods Data sources were identified by searching PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, psychINFO, and Cochrane Reviews Library. A total of 7,354 articles were identified, and of these, 30 RCTs were selected based on the selection criteria. Of these 30 RCTs, 14 were finally included in our meta-analysis [731 participants with dementia; 412 received CS (CS group) and 319 received usual care (control group)]. Results We found that the people with dementia had a moderate benefit from CS. The mean difference between the CS and control groups was 2.21 [95% CI (0.93, 3.49), Z=3.38, p=0.00007] in the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognition and 1.41 [95% CI (0.98, 1.84), Z=6.39, p<0.00001] in the Mini-Mental State Examination. CS also improved quality of life in people with dementia [95% CI (0.72, 3.38), Z=3.02, p=0.003]. Conclusion CS is effective for improving cognition and quality of life in people with dementia; however, its effects were small to moderate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-639
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea [grant number HI09C1379 (A092077)] and from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number HI12C2018).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Neuropsychiatric Association.


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Dementia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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