This article presents evidence for the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their carers. The evidence base is not yet robust enough to clearly suggest which interventions are most suited for which environment. However, from our literature review there appears to be reason to use music therapy, aromatherapy, life story work, animal-assisted therapy and post-diagnosis/carer support work. We focus on both the traditional outcome measures of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and the more difficult to measure, but equally important, person-centred outcomes of nonpharmacological interventions, as their properties are distinctly different from those of pharmacological agents.
•Be aware of the range of psychosocial interventions.
•Have a better understanding of the possible outcomes from given interventions.
•Be aware of the paradigm shift from managing BPSD to a person-centred approach that focuses on the patient's well-being and quality of life.