Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Pamela Wadsworth

Second Advisor

Joanne DeWit



To synthesize the research findings of storytelling techniques in healthcare settings for adults 50 and older with a diagnosis of dementia.

Data Sources

Data was gathered using the databases CINAHL, Clinicalkey, Pubmed, OVID, Proquest, and Web of Science using the search terms “storytelling/story-telling” and “caregiver”. Articles chosen for this review ranged from 2003-2018.

Data Extraction

Inclusion criteria were: 1). primary research articles, 2). written in English 3). research focused on the use of story-telling between healthcare providers and 4). participants were adults 55 and older with a dementia diagnosis. A total of 9 studies have been selected for further analysis. There were 392 records identified through the database searches. Nineteen were removed since they were duplicates, leaving 373 to be screened. 234 results were rejected because the participants were less than 55 and the aritcle did not relate to storytelling and dementia. 130 results were rejected because they were not a primary source (15), particpants lacked a diagnosis of dementia (71), they involved a family caregiver (11) and there was no storytelling intervention (33).

Data Synthesis

Initial analysis has revealed that life story interventions are associated with a decrease in symptoms of agitation and anxiety in patients with dementia. These interventions allow patients the opportunity to share their experiences with their caregivers, which in turn is linked to the caregiver providing more person-centered care. Life story interventions may help caregivers see the person with dementia not just as a patient, but as who the person was before they were diagnosed with dementia.


Life story interventions are linked to more person-centered care for people 55 and over with dementia. However, more research is needed to show the long-term outcomes of life story interventions.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Mater Thesis Reflection Final.pdf (346 kB)

Included in

Nursing Commons