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Systematic review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacological interventions to treat behavioural disturbances in older patients with dementia. The SENATOR-OnTop series
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  • Published on:
    Comment on Abraha, I., Rimland, J.M., Trotta, F.M. et al. (2017), "Systematic review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacologic interventions to treat behavioural disturbances in older patients with dementia. The SENATOR-OnTop series".
    • Barry Reisberg, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program; Clinical Director, Aging & Dementia Clinical Research Ctr New York University Langone Medical Center
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jaspreet Sangha, Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program, Department of Psychiatry
      • Munther Alshalabi, Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program, Department of Psychiatry
      • Jaskirat Sidhu, Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program, Department of Psychiatry
      • Sunnie Kenowsky, DVM, Co-Director, Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program, Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry

    March 31th, 2017

    Dear authors and concerned readers,

    We are writing in reference to Abraha, I., Rimland, J.M., Trotta, F.M., et al. (2017), “Systematic review of systematic reviews of non-pharmacologic interventions to treat behavioural disturbances in older patients with dementia. The SENATOR-OnTop series”. The authors are to be commended for their effort to summarize the results of 38 systematic reviews and 142 primary studies.

    In addition to summarizing the results of these studies the authors also, very usefully proposed a categorization of these studies. Unfortunately, at least for the first two categories of non-pharmacologic interventions, the categorizations presented in the abstract differ from the categorizations presented in the text. These differences raise questions about the number of systematic reviews and associated primary studies reported for each category in the abstract and cloud scientific efforts to report on the results of this important scientific project.

    Specifically, the abstract states in part in the Results, “38 SR’s [systematic reviews] and 142 primary studies were identified, comprising the following categories of non-pharmacological interventions: (1) sensory stimulation interventions (12 SR’s, 27 primary studies) that encompassed: acupressure, aromatherapy, massage/touch therapy, light therapy and sensory gardens; (2) cognitive/emotion-oriented interventions ( 33 SR’s; 70 primary studies) that included cognitiv...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.