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Table 4 Summary of characteristics and results of 12 included behavioural interventions, reported in 10 studies (for further detail see Additional file 2)

From: Effectiveness of interventions to indirectly support food and drink intake in people with dementia: Eating and Drinking Well IN dementiA (EDWINA) systematic review

Study Design Setting, intervention type No. of participants Dementia diagnosed Dementia stage Dementia type Effects on nutrition and/or hydration status Effects on intake of food, drinks and/or nutrients Quality effect (including QoL or meaningful activity) and other outcomes Duration
Beattie 2004 [51] USA BA Dementia specific unit.
Behavioural conditioning
3 Yes Severe AD → Weight → % Food intake
→ % Fluid intake
NR 2 weeks (total 5 weeks)
Coyne 1988 [52] USA RCT Dementia unit in nursing home.
Verbal prompting and positive reinforcement by staff
I = 12
C = 12
Yes Severe AD & others NR NR ↑ Eating independence for solid foods
→ Eating independence for liquid foods
→ Frequency of eating solid and liquid foods
2 weeks
Eaton 1986 [53] USA RCT Skilled care facility.
Gentle mealtime touch & verbal prompting
I = 21
C = 21
NR NR NR NR ↑ E intake
↑ Protein intake
NR 5 days
Huang 2009 [54] Taiwan BA Older person care facility.
Reminiscence cooking therapy
12 Yes Mild- mod NR NR NR ↑ Feeling of happiness
→ Positive communication
? Participatory feeling
→ Cognitive function
8 weeks
Lin 2010 [55] Spaced retrieval Taiwan RCT Dementia unit.
Spaced retrieval
I = 32
C = 24
Yes Various NR → Weight
→ BMI
↑ MNA
→ Food intake ↑ Improved eating difficulty 8 weeks
Lin 2010 [55] Montessori Taiwan RCT Dementia unit, Montessori activities I = 29
C = 24
Yes Various NR → Weight
→ BMI
→ MNA
↓ Food intake ↑ Improved eating difficulty 8 weeks
Lin 2011 [56] Taiwan RCT Dementia unit.
Montessori-based activities
29 Yes Mild-severe NR → BMI
→ MNA
NR ↑ Eating functional ability
↑ Eating ability
→ Eating time
↑ Self-feeding frequency
8 weeks
McHugh 2012 [58] USA RCT Memory support unit/care facility.
Vocal re-creative music therapy
I = 8
C = 7
Yes Mild-Mod AD & others NR → Proportion food eaten ? Participation 3 weeks
Santo Pietro 1998 [59] USA CCT Dementia unit within a nursing home.
Breakfast club (communication therapy)
I = 20
C = 20
Yes Mild-Mod AD NR NR ↑ Interest &involvement,
↑ Procedural memory
? Functional status
? Cognitive status
? Used humour & empathic statements, remembered names, responded to non-verbal cues, spontaneous singing, decreased distractibility & wandering.
12 weeks
Van Ort 1995 [28] Behavioural intervention USA BA Secure nursing unit.
Systematic prompting, cuing, behavioural guidance & reinforcement
7 Yes Severe NR → Weight ? ? Self-feeding behaviour
? Longer meal-times
? Increased independence
2 weeks
Wu 2013 [57] Fixed intervention Taiwan CCT Dementia unit.
Spaced retrieval & Montessori activities
I = 25
C = 27
Yes Mild-severe NR ↑ BMI
↑ MNA
NR → Depression 6 months
Wu 2013 [57] Individualised intervention Taiwan CCT Dementia units.
Individualised spaced retrieval & Montessori activities
I = 38
C = 27
Yes Mild-severe NR ↑ BMI
↑ MNA
NR ↓ Depression 6 months
  1. For abbreviations see below Table 2