WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For people living with dementia (PLWD), psychological therapy is beneficial for symptoms of depression and anxiety, but improvement or recovery is less likely than among matched controls without dementia, according to a study published in the October issue of eClinicalMedicine.

Georgia Bell, from University College London, and colleagues identified 1,549 PLWD who completed a course of psychological treatment between 2012 and 2019 and a propensity score-matched control group without dementia to compare outcomes.

The researchers found that during the course of psychological therapy, symptoms of depression and anxiety improved among PLWD, with large effect sizes observed. However, compared with matched controls without dementia, PLWD were less likely to reliably improve or recover (odds ratios, 0.75 and 0.75, respectively) and were more likely to deteriorate (odds ratio, 1.35).

“Given current public health recommendations, research exploring therapy outcomes in PLWD using data from naturalistic settings is crucial for understanding whether these services are effective,” the authors write. “Greater insight into why there is a difference in therapy outcomes between PLWD and people without dementia could help inform adaptations in services to improve these outcomes for PLWD.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Eli Lilly and Company.

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