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The aim of this literature review was to test the hypothesis: If a patient diagnosed with dementia participates in a cognitive intervention, then they will develop fewer cognitive deficits than a patient diagnosed with dementia who does not participate in a cognitive intervention.

Recent literature was systematically searched using several databases. A total of 20 empirical articles were included in this review. Inclusion criteria consisted of a diagnosis of dementia for each participating patient. Each study includes an experimental group of patients who participated in a cognitive intervention and a control group of patients who did not participate in a cognitive intervention. Various types of cognitive interventions were tested during these studies. The cognitive abilities of all patients were tested prior to and at the conclusion of treatment. The cognitive changes experienced by patients who participated in the cognitive interventions were compared to the cognitive changes experienced by patients who did not participate the cognitive interventions.

The findings of these studies varied in their relationship to the thesis hypothesis. Ten of these studies showed results that supported the thesis hypothesis, 7 studies refuted the thesis hypothesis, and 3 studies showed findings that both supported and refuted the thesis hypothesis.

The variance of results can be explained by the differing cognitive functions of focus of each cognitive intervention. Some of these interventions proved to have greater benefits on the cognitive abilities of patients diagnosed with dementia than others.


This revised research thesis was completed for Senior Thesis and presented as a professional student poster at the 2014 Chapman University Student Research Day. It won second place in the 2014 Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize contest at the Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University.