Effectiveness of life review on depression among elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Bushra Rashid Al-Ghafri, Abdulaziz Al-Mahrezi, Moon Fai Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: depression is considered one of the most common obstacles to daily life activities and quality of life in the elderly. Evidence is accumulating regarding the effectiveness of reminiscence and life review interventions in reducing depression and raising well-being in the elderly. The aim of this review was to determine the effects of life review interventions on depression outcomes among the elderly. Methods: a search of the literature was performed through 11 electronic databases to identify all randomized controlled trials studies that examine life review effects on depression among the elderly. For each study, the effect size (Cohen's d) between groups (life review vs. control) differences in depression scores for post-intervention and follow-up intervention were computed. Results: in total, 15 studies were met the inclusion criteria and was evaluated by meta-analysis. Results showed that the life review group has a large effect on reducing depression level than the control group on post-intervention and follow-up. After conducted sensitivity analysis, a moderate effect (effect size=-0.54; 95% CI=-0.71 to-0.36; p<0.05) and small effect (effect size=-0.20; 95% CI=-0.41 to-0.01; p<0.05) were found on post-intervention and follow-up, respectively. Conclusion: through this systematic review and meta-analysis, the overall results showed a moderate effect to reducing depression levels among the elderly in the life review group after carrying out post-intervention measurements, while in the follow-up the effect was small. This review indicates that life review intervention is one of the options likely to be of benefit for elderly in primary care settings, but further research can be focused on intervention and follow-up durations to obtain long-term effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2021


  • Depression; meta-analysis
  • Elderly
  • Life review
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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