Friday, December 01, 2006

Abstract of the Day: Agitation in Alzheimer Disease

Zuidema SU, Derksen E, Verhey FR, & Koopmans RT. (2006). Prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in a large sample of Dutch nursing home patients with dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,

Kalorama, Beek-Ubbergen, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia patients in Dutch nursing homes. METHODS: Cross-sectional study in a large sample of 1322 demented patients living in 59 dementia special care units (SCUs) in The Netherlands. Symptoms were observed by licensed vocational nurses during regular care-giving in a 2-week observational period prior to assessment. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory- Nursing home version (NPI-NH; frequency X severity score >/= 4) and the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI; symptoms occurring at least once a week). RESULTS: More than 80% of these patients suffered from at least one clinically significant symptom, as defined with the NPI-NH frequency X severity score >/= 4. Measured with the NPH-NH agitation/aggression, apathy and irritability were the most frequently observed behaviors, with prevalences of 30-35%. Using the CMAI, 85% of the patients showed at least one symptom of agitation, of which general restlessness was observed most frequently (44%). Other frequently observed symptoms with prevalence rates of 30% were cursing or verbal aggression, constant request for attention, negativism, repetitious sentences, mannerisms, pacing, and complaining. Physically aggressive symptoms such as hitting, kicking, biting occurred less often (less than 13%). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence rates of neuropsychiatric symptoms in Dutch nursing home patients with dementia residing in SCUs are high, especially agitation and apathy. Insight into the prevalence rates of individual symptoms in patients with dementia has important practical consequences for the accurate planning of staff allotment and stresses the need for patient oriented care. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 17136713 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Anthony H. Risser | |

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