Non-pharmacological interventions for aggression in persons with dementia: A 10-year follow-up review of the literature

Caroline Kinskey, Jeffrey A. Buchanan


Aggression is a common behavior in persons with dementia (PWDs). Nursing staff report that aggression is the most distressing behavior they face on the job. In addition, aggression may result in the prescription of psychotropic medications, which are largely ineffective and have dangerous side effects. Therefore, non-pharmacological interventions are necessary to safely manage aggressive behaviors and target the underlying cause of aggression. The current paper is a 10-year follow-up to Buchanan and colleagues’ 2007 literature review of non-pharmacological interventions for aggression in PWDs. This paper has three primary purposes: (1) To update the review of the empirical literature in this area; (2) To examine how limitations in the literature have been addressed over the past 10 years; and (3) To suggest areas of future inquiry. Findings suggest that comprehensive staff training interventions and distraction-based interventions during activities of daily living (ADLs) show the most promise for managing aggression in PWDs.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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