BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to explore the immediate and long-term effects of socially assistive robots (SARs) on neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), positive emotional experiences, and social interaction in older people living with dementia.
METHODS: We set keywords and used Boolean operators to search the CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, IEEE Digital Library, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Chinese Electronic Periodical Service from inception to February 2022 for randomized controlled trials. The Cochrane Collaboration bias assessment tool was used to assess article quality, and RevMan 5.4.1 software was used to conduct the meta-analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 14 studies were included in the meta-analysis. SARs can help people living with dementia reduce their NPS of depression and anxiety, provide happiness from positive emotional experiences, and improve their social interaction through conversation. However, there was no significant improvement in agitation behavior, overall BPSD, or quality of life in people living with dementia. In follow-up, it was found that the effect of SRT was limited.
CONCLUSION: Socially assistive robots can reduce depression and increase positive emotions in people living with dementia. They may also reduce the burden on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO CRD42020169340.