Aging is one of the most important public health issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the number of older adults aged 65 and above to triple from 2010 to 2050. A major challenge would be to consider how functional ability and quality of life could be enhanced in older age. Reminiscence-based interventions are widely reported as having positive effects on psychological outcomes among older adults with dementia, but its effects on cognitively intact older adults have not been clearly evaluated.
The aim of the current systematic review is to evaluate the existing evidence on the effects of reminiscence-based intervention on psychological outcomes in cognitively intact older adults.
Commonly used English databases, including CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO, were searched from inception till 31 Mar 2020. Studies were included if they examined the effects of reminiscence-based intervention on psychological outcomes among cognitively intact older adults aged 60 and above. Meta-analysis was conducted to synthesise the effects on different psychological outcomes.
Thirty-one studies involving 1,829 older adults were included. The pooled standardized mean difference for depressive symptoms and life satisfaction were -0.38 (95% CI: -0.69–0.07) and 0.33 (95% CI: 0.14-0.52) respectively. Positive effects were observed on self-esteem, psychological well-being and happiness, though meta-analysis could not be conducted.
Significant reduction of depressive symptoms and improvement of life satisfaction were revealed from the reminiscence-based intervention among cognitively intact older adults. In addition, reminiscence-based intervention has been effective in enhancing self-esteem, and promoting psychological well-being and happiness. Our results suggest that reminiscence-based intervention could be an effective solution to improve psychological well-being among cognitively intact older adults. Such non-pharmacological approach can be recommended for older adults at the community level.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.