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An individualized psychosocial approach for 'treatment resistant' behavioral symptoms of dementia among aged care residents

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-10-01, 00:00 authored by Tanya Davison, Catherine Hudgson, M McCabe, K George, G Buchanan
Background: Behavioral symptoms of dementia are common among residents in mainstream aged care settings, and have a substantial impact on residents and professional caregivers. This study evaluated the impact of individualized psychosocial interventions for behavioral symptoms through a small preliminary study.
Method: Interventions were delivered to a patient group of 31 psychogeriatric aged care residents who presented with behavioral symptoms of dementia that had failed to respond to pharmacological treatment approaches. Outcome data on severity of behaviors, health service utilization and staff burden of care were collected.
Results: A modest but significant reduction in staff ratings of the severity of aggressive and verbally agitated behavioral symptoms was found, with an associated reduction in their perceptions of the burden of caring for these patients. Reduced behavioral disturbance was associated with a reduction in the requirement for primary care consultations, and all participants were able to continue to reside in mainstream aged care facilities, despite an increase in the severity of dementia.
Conclusions: This study supported the use of individualized psychological strategies for behavioral symptoms at all stages of dementia. Methodological limitations of this preliminary study are discussed.

History

Journal

International psychogeriatrics: the official journal of the international psychogeriatric association

Volume

19

Issue

5

Pagination

859 - 873

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

1041-6102

eISSN

1741-203X

Language

eng

Notes

Published online by Cambridge University Press 14 Sep 2006

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006 International Psychogeriatric Association