Objective To assess the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Methods We searched several electronic databases, namely Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and MEDLINE with no limitations for language or document type (last search: 1 February 2020). Randomized controlled trials of mindfulness-based interventions for people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment compared to active-control interventions, waiting lists, or treatment as usual were included. Predefined outcomes were anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, cognitive function, quality of life, mindfulness, ADL and attrition. We used the random effects model (DerSimonian-Laird method) for meta-analysis, reporting effect sizes as Standardized Mean Difference. Heterogeneity was assessed with the I2 statistics. Results Eight randomized controlled trials, involving 276 patients, met the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. We found no significant effects for mindfulness-based interventions in either the short-term or the medium- to long-term on any outcomes, when compared with control conditions. The number of included studies and sample sizes were too small. Additionally, the quality of evidence was low for each randomized controlled trial included in the analysis. This is primarily due to lack of intent-to-treat analysis, high risk of bias, and imprecise study results. The limited statistical power and weak body of evidence prevented us from reaching firm conclusions. Conclusions We found no significant effects of mindfulness-based interventions on any of the outcomes when compared with control conditions. The evidence concerning the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in this population is scarce in terms of both quality and quantity. More well-designed, rigorous, and large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed.
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