OBJECTIVE: Previous systematic reviews on occupational therapy for elderly included studies until 2003. The present evidence mapping summarizes recent evidence for the efficacy of occupational therapy with older persons based on randomised controlled trials from 2004-2012.
METHOD: An electronic search in Cochrane and Medline databases identified publications of randomised controlled trials on occupational therapy interventions for persons≥65 years old. Two raters independently extracted data and analysed the quality of samples, interventions and outcome evalutations according to PRISMA criteria.
RESULTS: In all, 136 abstracts were identified and 48 studies analysed, from these 12 on stroke, 15 on falls and mobility, 7 on dementia, 4 on prevention and 10 on other conditions. Reports of adverse events and evaluations of costs and long-term outcomes are frequently lacking.
CONCLUSION: The most promising fields for further research are primary and secondary prevention in persons with stroke, falls or mobility problems and tertiary prevention in persons with dementia. Future trials should be conducted and reported according to consented reporting guidelines of the equator network.