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Introduction: Mild Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia, substantially burdens patients and caregivers. With only symptomatic treatments currently available, the potential of Occupational Therapy (OT) in aiding mild AD patients is increasingly recognized. This review evaluates OT’s role in preserving cognitive function in mild AD.
Methods: We used PubMed and HINARI platforms to explore the effect of OT on mild AD. Studies in English, with observational or clinical trial designs involving patients with AD, were included. Case studies and literature reviews were excluded. Two authors independently selected the study, with a third resolving disputes.
Results: 43 studies were initially retrieved. Post-duplicate removal, 34 abstracts were screened, 21 were selected for full review, and five met the inclusion criteria. Of these, three reported positive results, and two reported adverse effects. Those with positive results are observational studies with a low risk of bias and one RCT with a high risk of bias. The two remaining RCTs with negative consequences showed a low risk of bias.
Discussion: Our review suggests no benefit on cognition in mild AD from OT, although methodological variability led to inconsistent findings. Certain OT interventions, like Recollection-Based and Group Cognitive Therapy, showed promise in cognitive improvement for mild AD. Future research should include larger samples, extended interventions, and follow-up periods for a more comprehensive insight into OT’s effects on cognition in mild AD patients.