Background Although family photos are often used in the psychosocial care for people with dementia, little is known about the use and efectiveness of generic photos. This systematic literature review explored psychosocial
interventions using generic photos for people with dementia, and the efects they have on their social interaction and/or mood and/or quality of life. In addition, it was investigated whether these interventions made use of technol‑
ogy in its implementation.
Methods A systematic search on the following databases was performed: PubMed, Embase, APA PsychInfo, Cinahl, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane Central. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were based on the PICO model (Popu‑
lation, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome), and quality assessment was undertaken using the Weight of Evidence Framework. Narrative synthesis was undertaken to summarize study characteristics- settings and designs, type of psy‑
chosocial interventions identifed, type of photos and technology used, outcome measures, and results.
Results A total of 2,035 results were found, however after title, abstract and full-text screening, a total of 8 studies were included. The most common psychosocial intervention using generic photos was found to be reminiscence
therapy, followed by art-viewing activities. In studies that used technology, it was reported that viewing digitalized photos were either similar or better to conventional printed photos. Despite photos being generic, it was found
that generic photos could still hold personal signifcance to the person with dementia. Some positive and signifcant efects were found for the outcomes social interaction, mood and quality of life, though no study evaluated all three
outcomes. Two studies were rated as having high overall quality, 4 were rated as fair, and 2 studies had a low quality assessment rating.
Conclusion Studies found using generic photos were limited, showing varying outcomes and methodological quality. Firm conclusions on the efectiveness of interventions using generic photos are not possible. However, the use
of generic photos in psychosocial interventions is a promising area for future research. Researchers should consider studies with better methodological quality and larger samples; and qualitative studies where the intention is to get
better insight into successful implementation and impact mechanisms of such psychosocial interventions.