As the population ages, the number of people living with dementia is increasing. People with dementia are more likely to go to hospital and to do worse once they’re there.
Many different interventions exist which aim to avoid people with dementia being taken into hospital.
This project aimed to understand what factors make it more likely that someone with dementia will be admitted to hospital, and what can be done to reduce that risk.
It aimed to carry out a ‘systematic review’ of trials that looked at interventions to reduce hospital admissions in people with dementia.
Using information up to October 2018, we carried out a ‘systematic review’ of trials of different interventions which aimed to reduce hospital admissions in people with dementia.
The interventions we looked at were:
We looked at whether the interventions reduced the risk of people with dementia being admitted to hospital, the length they stayed in hospital, and mortality rate.
In the systematic review, we found no evidence that the targeted interventions reduced the likelihood of hospital stay or mortality rate for people with dementia.
Some evidence suggested that care management interventions, physiotherapy or occupational therapy, and specialised services were associated with small reductions in length of hospital stay, but this evidence was very weak.
There was no evidence to suggest that counselling or self-help interventions had any effect on length of hospital stay.
The systematic review shows that none of the trialled interventions reduced either the rate that people with dementia were taken into hospital, the length of hospital stay or risk of death.
Further research is needed into reducing hospital admissions in people with dementia, to improve outcomes and quality of life.