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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Department of Veterans Affairs
Evidence-Based Practice Recommendations for Working with Individuals with Dementia: Montessori-Based Interventions

Mahendra, N., Hopper, T., et al. (2006).
Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 14(1), xv-xxv

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes*
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review of experimental studies that investigated the use of Montessori-based interventions for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. This review is part of a series of reports from the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Science specific to the assessment and management of individuals with dementia.

Question(s) Addressed:

  1. Who are the participants who received Montessori-based interventions?
  2. What comprised the Montessori-based interventions?
  3. What are the outcomes of Montessori-based interventions?
  4. What are key methodological concerns in implementing Montessori-based interventions?
  5. Are there clinically applicable trends across studies in which Montessori methods were implemented?

Population: Individuals with dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT)

Intervention/Assessment: Montessori-based interventions which focus on providing treatment in real life environments, progressing from simple to complex tasks broken down and completed in components with emphasis on auditory visual and tactile discrimination.

Number of Studies Included: 5

Years Included: 1966 - 2002



  • Treatment
    • Cognitive-Communication
      • Restorative Treatment: Montessori-Based Treatment
        • Findings from five studies support the use of Montessori-based interventions for individuals with Alzheimer's related dementia.
        • Montessori-based treatments may enhance cognitive-communication skills (e.g., engagement and participation in target activities, ability to participate in groups). However, little to no change in global cognitive function may be found.
        • Further research is needed from well-designed studies to strengthen the research base.

Keywords: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Cognition

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*Inclusion criteria not fully described. Information provided about excluded studies only.

Added to Compendium: January 2012

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