Occupational therapy is best for dementia

Occupational therapy (OT) may be more effective than drug treatment for improving the daily life of patients with dementia, according to a Dutch study.

It also improved the quality of life of their main care-giver, the researchers found.

They assigned 135 patients with mild to moderate dementia and their care-givers to either receive 10 home-based sessions of OT over a five-week period, or no OT.

The motor and process skills of both groups were assessed six and 12 weeks after the therapy was completed. Care-giver burden was also assessed.

The researchers found that 75 per cent of patients treated by OT had improved motor skills and that 82 per cent required less assistance in day-to-day tasks up to 12 weeks after treatment.

In addition, care-givers who underwent OT felt significantly more competent.

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