Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Nonpharmacological Interventions for Persons With Dementia



Nonpharmacological approaches to the care of persons with dementia differ from pharmacological treatment in that they consider the interaction between the person, caregiver, environment, and system of care in the treatment design. Such interventions generally provide more personalized care for these individuals, addressing their needs, and considering their preferences. Nonpharmacological interventions have been used to enhance cognition, affect, and performance of activities of daily living; to reinforce a positive sense of self; and to reduce agitation/behavior problems and psychotic symptoms. This article presents a framework for implementing such interventions, provides examples from the literature of existing interventions, and argues for increased advocacy to support their research and use.

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, PhD, is the director of the Research Institute on Aging at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and a professor of Health Care Sciences and of Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington University Medical Center and School of Public Health. She has published extensively on various gerontological topics, and on problem behaviors in dementia in particular.

Address correspondence to: Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, PhD, 6121 Montrose Rd, Rockville, MD 20852. E-mail:

Funding for this work was obtained from NIH grant AG 10172 and NIMH grant MH59617.

©2005Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.