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Mentalising imagery therapy for family dementia caregivers: protocol for a scoping review.

BMJ Open 2024 May 16
INTRODUCTION: Dementia is a growing public health concern, and providing long-term care for individuals affected by this condition is challenging for their family caregivers. While researchers have explored various intervention options to provide psychological support for dementia caregivers, mentalising imagery therapy (MIT) has gained significant recognition as an effective programme. Despite its significance and effectiveness, there is a lack of comprehensive scoping reviews of MIT in dementia caregiving. Thus, conducting such a review can provide valuable insights into the status and outcomes of MIT, identify gaps in existing research and provide recommendations for a more effective clinical practice.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study proposes a scoping review conducted according to the Joanna Briggs Institute, Arksey and O'Malley's methodological framework, as well as the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses-Scoping Review Extension. PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL and PsycINFO databases will be searched while grey literature will be retrieved via Google Scholar. Covidence will be used to manage the literature selection process and remove duplicate publications. Two researchers will independently screen the literature according to the inclusion criteria, with any discrepancies resolved through discussions with a third researcher. Data will be presented in a structured tabular format, with a narrative synthesis providing an overview of the findings on the identified research gaps and the effectiveness of MIT in the field of dementia caregiving.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: In a scoping review, no ethical approval is necessary. The results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The scoping review protocol has been registered with Open Science Framework (

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