Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


Objective: The objective of this systematic EBM review is to determine “Does Spaced Retrieval Therapy Help Improve Quality of Life for Individuals with Dementia?”

Study Design: A systemic review of three peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCT) published in English between 2016-2017.

Data Sources: All peer-reviewed articles were selected using PubMed. All articles were published in English and selected based on relevance to the clinical question. Exclusion criteria excluded studies with combined intervention methods.

Outcome Measured: Assessment of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) was determined using the IADL task score assessed by the recruiter. Improvement of hyperphagic behavior assessed by trained memory trainers determined by the Dementia Hyperphagic Behavior Scale.

Results: All studies determined the efficacy of spaced retrieval therapy and its role in improving the quality of life of the participants with dementia. The RCT of Bourgeois et al. found that spaced retrieval therapy and trial and error learning (control) produced no significant difference, determining both learning methods capable of improving patient outcomes. The results of Kao et al. revealed that spaced retrieval therapy significantly improved hyperphagic behaviors lasting three months after completion of the program when compared to routine care (control). The Hsu et al. study determined that spaced retrieval therapy can decrease the severity of hyperphagic behaviors compared to routine care (control).

Conclusion: All studies report spaced retrieval therapy is an acceptable tool capable to improve the quality of life for individuals living with dementia. These studies suggest behavioral and speech therapy (spaced retrieval) is effective enough to improve hyperphagic behavior and IADL. Future studies should be conducted to determine the longevity of new learned behaviors/activities as well as the minimum intervention period required for long-lasting benefit.