DESIGN: A systematic review was conducted using electronic databases of CINAHL, PubMed, PsychINFO, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, SocINDEX and Web of Science for articles published until the 11th of January 2018.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: All observational studies investigating the association between social support and depression among community-dwelling older adults in Asia were included.
PARTICIPANTS: Older adults aged 60 years and more who are living in the community.
EXPOSURE MEASURES: Social support.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Depression.
RESULTS: We retrieved16 356 records and screened 66 full-text articles. Twenty-four observational studies were included in the review. They consisted of five cohort studies and 19 cross-sectional studies. Social support was found to be measured by multiple components, most commonly through a combination of structural and functional constructs. Perceived social support is more commonly measured compared with received social support. Good overall social support, having a spouse or partner, living with family, having a large social network, having more contact with family and friends, having emotional and instrumental support, good support from family and satisfaction with social support are associated with less depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older adults in Asia.
CONCLUSIONS: There were 20 different social support measures and we applied a framework to allow for better comparability. Our findings emphasised the association between good social support and decrease depression among older adults. Compared with western populations, family support has a greater influence on depression among community-dwelling older adults in Asia. This indicates that the family institution needs to be incorporated into designed programmes and interventions when addressing depression in the Asian context. TRIAL : registration number : CRD42017074897.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of animal-assisted therapy for people with dementia.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched ALOIS: the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group's Specialised Register on 5 September 2019. ALOIS contains records of clinical trials identified from monthly searches of major healthcare databases, trial registries, and grey literature sources. We also searched MEDLINE (OvidSP), Embase (OvidSP), PsycINFO (OvidSP), CINAHL (EBSCOhost), ISI Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the WHO's trial registry portal.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cluster-randomised trials, and randomised cross-over trials that compared AAT versus no AAT, AAT using live animals versus alternatives such as robots or toys, or AAT versus any other active intervention.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data using the standard methods of Cochrane Dementia. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility and risk of bias of the retrieved records. We expressed our results using mean difference (MD), standardised mean difference (SMD), and risk ratio (RR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) where appropriate.
MAIN RESULTS: We included nine RCTs from 10 reports. All nine studies were conducted in Europe and the US. Six studies were parallel-group, individually randomised RCTs; one was a randomised cross-over trial; and two were cluster-RCTs that were possibly related where randomisation took place at the level of the day care and nursing home. We identified two ongoing trials from trial registries. There were three comparisons: AAT versus no AAT (standard care or various non-animal-related activities), AAT using live animals versus robotic animals, and AAT using live animals versus the use of a soft animal toy. The studies evaluated 305 participants with dementia. One study used horses and the remainder used dogs as the therapy animal. The duration of the intervention ranged from six weeks to six months, and the therapy sessions lasted between 10 and 90 minutes each, with a frequency ranging from one session every two weeks to two sessions per week. There was a wide variety of instruments used to measure the outcomes. All studies were at high risk of performance bias and unclear risk of selection bias. Our certainty about the results for all major outcomes was very low to moderate. Comparing AAT versus no AAT, participants who received AAT may be slightly less depressed after the intervention (MD -2.87, 95% CI -5.24 to -0.50; 2 studies, 83 participants; low-certainty evidence), but they did not appear to have improved quality of life (MD 0.45, 95% CI -1.28 to 2.18; 3 studies, 164 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). There were no clear differences in all other major outcomes, including social functioning (MD -0.40, 95% CI -3.41 to 2.61; 1 study, 58 participants; low-certainty evidence), problematic behaviour (SMD -0.34, 95% CI -0.98 to 0.30; 3 studies, 142 participants; very-low-certainty evidence), agitation (SMD -0.39, 95% CI -0.89 to 0.10; 3 studies, 143 participants; very-low-certainty evidence), activities of daily living (MD 4.65, 95% CI -16.05 to 25.35; 1 study, 37 participants; low-certainty evidence), and self-care ability (MD 2.20, 95% CI -1.23 to 5.63; 1 study, 58 participants; low-certainty evidence). There were no data on adverse events. Comparing AAT using live animals versus robotic animals, one study (68 participants) found mixed effects on social function, with longer duration of physical contact but shorter duration of talking in participants who received AAT using live animals versus robotic animals (median: 93 seconds with live versus 28 seconds with robotic for physical contact; 164 seconds with live versus 206 seconds with robotic for talk directed at a person; 263 seconds with live versus 307 seconds with robotic for talk in total). Another study showed no clear differences between groups in behaviour measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (MD -6.96, 95% CI -14.58 to 0.66; 78 participants; low-certainty evidence) or quality of life (MD -2.42, 95% CI -5.71 to 0.87; 78 participants; low-certainty evidence). There were no data on the other outcomes. Comparing AAT using live animals versus a soft toy cat, one study (64 participants) evaluated only social functioning, in the form of duration of contact and talking. The data were expressed as median and interquartile ranges. Duration of contact was slightly longer in participants in the AAT group and duration of talking slightly longer in those exposed to the toy cat. This was low-certainty evidence.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found low-certainty evidence that AAT may slightly reduce depressive symptoms in people with dementia. We found no clear evidence that AAT affects other outcomes in this population, with our certainty in the evidence ranging from very-low to moderate depending on the outcome. We found no evidence on safety or effects on the animals. Therefore, clear conclusions cannot yet be drawn about the overall benefits and risks of AAT in people with dementia. Further well-conducted RCTs are needed to improve the certainty of the evidence. In view of the difficulty in achieving blinding of participants and personnel in such trials, future RCTs should work on blinding outcome assessors, document allocation methods clearly, and include major patient-important outcomes such as affect, emotional and social functioning, quality of life, adverse events, and outcomes for animals.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) over six months. Prostate cancer patients from UMMC received the intervention and patients from UKMMC were taken as controls. The level of depression, anxiety and stress were measured using Depression, Anxiety Stress Scales - 21 (DASS-21).
RESULTS: A total of 77 patients from the UMMC and 78 patients from the UKMMC participated. At the end of the study, 90.9% and 87.2% of patients from the UMMC and UKMMC groups completed the study respectively. There were significant improvements in anxiety (p<0.001, partial ?2=0.198) and stress (p<0.001, partial ?2=0.103) at the end of the study in those receiving muscle training. However, there was no improvement in depression (p=0.956).
CONCLUSIONS: The improvement in anxiety and stress showed the potential of APMRT in the management of prostate cancer patients. Future studies should be carried out over a longer duration to provide stronger evidence for the introduction of relaxation therapy among prostate cancer patients as a coping strategy to improve their anxiety and stress.