Factors influencing “face” in people with dementia: A systematic review of the literature

Ko Xin Chen, Mei Yin Liu, Jing Jy Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Backgrounds: Face (self-esteem) is an issue that involves socially endowed status, identity roles, and self-image management and maintenance. People with dementia and their family members often experience social isolation due to diminished self-image, which affects disease progression. Better understanding the factors that influence the self-image of people with dementia may promote the ability of caregivers to maintain self-image and promote public understanding and empathy toward people with dementia. Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the factors influencing self-image in people with dementia using a systematic review of the literature. Methods: A systematic review was used. Articles were retrieved from electronic databases including PubMed, CINAHL, Airiti Library, and Cochrane Library. The following keywords and MeSH terms were used to search for articles on dementia, face, self-esteem, respect, and self-concept. A total of 3,050 articles published prior to September 2018 that matched the search criteria were extracted. After screening the topics, deleting repetitions, and doing critical appraisals, eight articles were selected for analysis. Research quality was appraised using the Joanna Briggs Institute and the Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt for Evidence-Based Medicine Level of Evidence. Results: Two themes related to the factors influencing self-image in people with dementia were extracted from the selected articles. The first theme was “loss of self-identity”. As people with dementia gradually lose their cognitive function and memory ability, they are increasingly incapable of handling and managing their current role tasks. The second theme was “negative public perception”. The public believes that people with dementia are at risk to others and that their behaviors are unpredictable, resulting in the deprivation of the rights to which people with dementia are entitled. Conclusions/ Implications for Practice: Because of disease progression, people with dementia gradually lose their self-identity and become unable to perform their life-role tasks. This is accompanied by negative perceptions of the disease among the public, which, in turn, damages the self-image of people with dementia and their families. The results of this review may provide a reference for caregivers planning future person-centered care approaches for people with dementia. In addition, these results may help facilitate the establishment of a more friendly environment for people with dementia in both public and private spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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