Evidently Advent Day 14: best health evidence wrapped up for the festive season!

Remember this?


Christmas will mean different things to each of us and arouses many different emotions, but common to us all will be its links with the past. It’s a time for remembering. Those who spend time with older people may encourage them to share memories of Christmas, prompted perhaps by photos, a favourite food or by decorations brought out each year.

Doing this kind of thing can be part of reminiscence therapy, a popular strategy in caring for people with dementia. But do we have evidence that it works? The review team who did a Cochrane review on this found that good evidence is lacking and they highlighted the need for more and better designed trials. As things stand, we don’t know whether it works, though the little evidence there is suggests there may be benefits and no harmful effects were reported. Advent is, of course, a time of anticipation, and happily we can anticipate an update of this review in 2015.

Evidently Cochrane has been shortlisted as one of the top 10 health organization blogs in the UK Blog Awards 2015! Do explore the site – we hope there are blogs here to interest everyone. You can also follow us – and talk to us – on Twitter @ukcochranecentr and @SarahChapman30


Woods B, Spector AE, Jones CA, Orrell M, Davies SP. Reminiscence therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001120. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001120.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001120/DEMENTIA_inconclusive-evidence-of-the-efficacy-of-reminiscence-therapy-for-dementia#sthash.Tf5JAFvy.dpuf

Sarah Chapman

About Sarah Chapman

view all posts

Sarah's work as a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients. A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *