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Journal: International psychogeriatrics / IPA


To produce a practice guideline that includes a set of detailed consensus principles regarding the prescription of antipsychotics (APs) amongst people with dementia living in care homes.

Concepts: Antipsychotic, Psychiatry


ABSTRACT Background: Dementia is a major public health problem in aging populations. The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) classifies the severity of dementia and identifies borderline cases that supposedly have higher rates of conversion to dementia. This study aims to verify the dementia conversion rate (CR) in a subsample of an elderly cohort (70+ free of the disease), and to identify risk factors, determining whether CDR is able to predict which individuals have high likelihood of converting. Methods: A subsample of 156 participants was clinically evaluated for dementia at baseline in which 80 patients without dementia were reassessed after 2.6 years on average to verify the conversion. The CR was analyzed according to demographic, health variables, and CDR classification at baseline, using the Poisson regression method in univariate and multivariate analyses, with exposure time as an offset variable (person-years). Results: From those re-evaluated, 50% had CDR = 0 and a CR of 38.1/1,000 person-years and the other 50%, CDR = 0.5 (70% with sum of boxes scores ≤1, CR = 145.4/1,000 person-years and 30% > 1, CR = 216.8/1,000 person-years). CR was 91.3/1,000 person-years on average. In the multivariate analysis, when compared with those with CDR = 0, the hazard ratio of those with CDR = 0.5 was 3.82; and for those with CDR = 0.5 and sum of boxes scores >1, 5.69. Conclusions: Conversion rate to dementia was significantly higher among those with CDR = 0.5 and even higher for those whose sum of boxes scores was >1. Therefore, CDR was able to predict which individuals had a higher likelihood of converting to dementia.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Epidemiology, Proportional hazards models, Demography, Prediction, Multivariate statistics, Multivariate analysis, Statistical methods


ABSTRACT Background: As ageing is a personal experience, an attitude to ageing questionnaire is essential for capturing the most realistic appraisal of this important stage of life. Our aim was to study the psychometric properties of the Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ) in a sample of Spanish older people. Methods: A total of 242 participants aged 60 years and older were recruited from community centers, primary care centers, and family associations for the mentally ill and dementia. In addition to the AAQ, participants provided information on demographics, self-perception of health, comorbidity, health status (SF-12), depressive symptoms (GDS-30), and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF and WHOQOL-OLD). Analysis was performed using standard psychometric techniques with SPSS v15.0. Results: No floor and ceiling effects were found, and missing data were low. The internal consistency measured by Cronbach’s alpha for AAQ subscales were 0.59, 0.70, and 0.73. Exploratory Factor Analysis produced a three-factors solution accounting for 34% of the variance. A priori expected associations were found between some AAQ subscales with WHOQOL-BREF domains, with WHOQOL-OLD, SF-12, and the GDS-30 indicating good construct validity. In general, AAQ subscales differentiated between participants with lower and higher levels of education, and between a priori defined groups of older people (non-depressed vs. depressed; those with higher vs. lower physical comorbidities, and non-carers vs. carers). Conclusions: The Spanish version of the AAQ questionnaire showed acceptable psychometric properties in a convenience sample of Spanish older people. It is a useful measure of attitude for use with older people in social and clinical services.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Psychometrics, Factor analysis, Validity, Reliability, Cronbach's alpha, SPSS, Internal consistency


ABSTRACT Background: The provision of mental health care for older people will become increasingly important with rising demand related to global demographic changes. This project aimed to identify changes in work patterns of UK consultant old age psychiatrists between 1993 and 2012. Method: A link to an online questionnaire was circulated to consultant old age psychiatrists through the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists. Results: In all 210 usable responses were received. On the survey day 71% of old age psychiatrists arrived at work before 9 am, and 40% left work after 6 pm. Over one-third (35%) worked for another hour or more at home. The range of activities was broader than previously reported. Administrative activity was undertaken by over 60% and acute ward work by only 26%. Few consultants reported time in long-stay care or day hospitals. Outpatient activity included Memory Clinics and Health Center Clinics. The main stressors reported by consultants were lack of resources and pressures from management-imposed, financially driven service changes. Relationships with people at work (including patients and their families) and outside work were the main identified support. Conclusions: Consultants' working hours have changed little since 1997, but the range and emphases of activities have changed. Changes in service organization are stressful and consultants are supported by relationships with colleagues and patients. Work patterns are changing in response to demands and constraints on the specialty. Research is needed into service design and work patterns, which can provide humane care in the current economic climate.

Concepts: Middle age, Gerontology, Old age, Ageing, Change, Psychiatry, Mental health professional


ABSTRACT Background: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) have been associated with increased carer burden and early institutionalization. BPSD are more responsive to treatment than are cognitive and functional decline. Little is known about how family carers understand and try to reduce these symptoms. This study aimed to explore the strategies used by carers looking after someone with high levels of BPSD. Methods: Twenty-five carers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). They were all caring for someone eligible for an Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia Package, which targets people with BPSD. Results: Participants reported high levels of BPSD with a mean score of 8.2 for symptoms (range 2-12, SD = 2.38) and a mean NPI score of 51.4 (range 14-111, SD = 28.74). Distress scores were also high with a mean of 18.5 (range 2-42, SD = 11.33). Carers described on average, fewer than four strategies for managing BPSD. Encouraging activity, utilizing psychotropic medications, identifying triggers, restraining or treating in a paternalistic manner, and meeting physiological needs were the most commonly used strategies. Conclusion: While family carers are often at the forefront of identifying triggers and addressing unmet needs, findings from this study suggest that some carers have a limited repertoire of strategies despite experiencing a large number of symptoms. There is a clear need for ensuring evidence-based programs to educate and support carers in identifying triggers, understanding symptoms and learning to cope with these symptoms.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Caregiver, Family, Psychology, Cognition, Psychiatry, Interview, Maslow's hierarchy of needs


Becoming widowed is a significant event. There is considerable evidence that surviving partners report substantial changes in their wellbeing and mental health. Changes can occur prior to partner’s death as an anticipatory effect and consequently during the period after partner’s death. For most, declines in wellbeing and mental health dissipate over time. However, there is a limited long-term evidence to compare age-normative trajectories in mental health and wellbeing with the trajectories of those who transition into widowhood.

Concepts: Time, Death, 2006 albums, Widow, Widowhood


Research showed that long-term care facilities differ widely in the use of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints. The aim of this study is to investigate whether characteristics of an unhealthy work environment in facilities for people with dementia are associated with more prescription of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints.

Concepts: Nursing, Geriatrics, Nursing home, Medicare and Medicaid


As the global population ages, it is important that the professional care workforce is well prepared to support the needs of people with dementia. In Australia, the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) supports people with dementia and their carers through an interdisciplinary team approach. To provide DBMAS Behaviour Consultants with a tool to guide them in their professional development, this project aimed to develop a self-assessment tool to enable self-reflection on clinical competencies required for working in the service and identification of areas where further development would be required.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Psychology, Management, Life expectancy, Learning, Australia, Interdisciplinarity, Interdisciplinary fields


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disease that causes cognitive impairment and dementia. Within the US, AD is the most common form of dementia in the elderly, affecting 1 in 10 people over the age of 65. Sleep disturbance has been called a “public health epidemic” and, like depression, is a prodromal symptom of AD but may also contribute to the risk of developing AD. It was hypothesized that sleep disturbance, depression, and the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype increase the likelihood of AD.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Psychology, Epidemiology, Death, Neurology, Apolipoprotein E, Dementia, Sundowning


ABSTRACT Background: Depression is a common comorbid disorder of dementia. This study explores the prevalence of and factors associated with depressive symptomatology, and antidepressant prescription rates in severe dementia across eight European countries. Methods: In total, 414 people with severe dementia completed measures of cognition and quality of life (QoL), whilst carers completed proxy measures of activities of daily living (ADLs), depression, neuropsychiatric symptoms, QoL and comorbidity. Results: Findings indicated that 30% of the sample had depression, whilst the highest and lowest prevalence of depression was reported in Germany and Finland, respectively. Lower QoL, the presence of pain and more frequent neuropsychiatric symptoms were associated with depressive symptomatology, whilst no significant relationship between impairment of ADLs, comorbidity, and depression emerged. Spain and Estonia had the highest and lowest rates of antidepressant prescribing, respectively, whilst Germany had the highest discrepancy between depressive symptomatology and prescription. Conclusions: The study highlights variations across countries in the prevalence of depressive symptomatology in severe dementia and prescription of antidepressants. Information about factors associated with depressive symptomatology may help to better identify and manage depression.

Concepts: Dementia, Europe, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Bupropion, Sertraline