Systematic review on behavioural and psychological symptoms in the older or demented population

Department of Public Health and Primary Care - Forvie Site, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK. .
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.98). 07/2012; 4(4):28. DOI: 10.1186/alzrt131
Source: PubMed


Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPS) include depressive symptoms, anxiety, apathy, sleep problems, irritability, psychosis, wandering, elation and agitation, and are common in the non-demented and demented population.
We have undertaken a systematic review of reviews to give a broad overview of the prevalence, course, biological and psychosocial associations, care and outcomes of BPS in the older or demented population, and highlight limitations and gaps in existing research. Embase and Medline were searched for systematic reviews using search terms for BPS, dementia and ageing.
Thirty-six reviews were identified. Most investigated the prevalence or course of symptoms, while few reviewed the effects of BPS on outcomes and care. BPS were found to occur in non-demented, cognitively impaired and demented people, but reported estimates vary widely. Biological factors associated with BPS in dementia include genetic factors, homocysteine levels and vascular changes. Psychosocial factors increase risk of BPS; however, across studies and between symptoms findings are inconsistent. BPS have been associated with burden of care, caregiver's general health and caregiver depression scores, but findings are limited regarding institutionalisation, quality of life and disease outcome.
Limitations of reviews include a lack of high quality reviews, particularly of BPS other than depression. Limitations of original studies include heterogeneity in study design particularly related to measurement of BPS, level of cognitive impairment, population characteristics and participant recruitment. It is our recommendation that more high quality reviews, including all BPS, and longitudinal studies with larger sample sizes that use frequently cited instruments to measure BPS are undertaken. A better understanding of the risk factors and course of BPS will inform prevention, treatment and management and possibly improve quality of life for the patients and their carers.

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    • "In agreement with previous reports of the high incidence of BPSD in dementia patients [1] [15], 99% of the patients in this study showed some behavioral symptom, even if mild. Comparisons of the occurrence frequency and severity level among the dementia groups revealed great similarity for most of the BPSD investigated. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological correlates of behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in patients affected by various forms of dementia, namely Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontal-variant frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD), Lewy body dementia (LBD), and subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD). 21 fvFTD, 21 LBD, 22 AD, and 22 SIVD patients matched for dementia severity received a battery of neuropsychological tests and the Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI). The possible association between performance on neuropsychological tests and severity of BPSD was assessed by correlational analysis and multivariate regression. BPSD were present in 99% of patients. Most behavioral symptoms were not related to a particular dementia group or to a specific cognitive deficit. Euphoria and disinhibition were predicted by fvFTD diagnosis. Hallucinations correlated with the severity of visuospatial deficits in the whole sample of patients and were predicted by LBD membership. Apathy, which was found in all dementia groups, correlated with executive functions and was predicted by both reduced set-shifting aptitude and fvFTD diagnosis. The results confirm the high prevalence of BPSD in the mild to moderate stages of dementia and show that most BPSD are equally distributed across dementia groups. Most of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms are independent dimensions of the dementia syndromes. Nevertheless, hallucinations in LBD and euphoria and disinhibition in fvFTD are related to the structural brain alterations that are responsible for cognitive decline in these dementia groups. Finally, apathy arises from damage in the frontal cortical areas that are also involved in executive functions.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 11/2013; 39(3). DOI:10.3233/JAD-131337 · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    • "The prevalence of challenging behavior in people with dementia is 78% globally [3]. Similarly, [4] up to 90% of German residents with dementia have challenging behaviors [5]. The most frequent symptoms are depressive symptoms followed by aggression [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundThe main objective of care for people with dementia is the maintenance and promotion of quality of life (Qol). Most of the residents in nursing homes have challenging behaviors that strongly affect their Qol. Person-centered care (PCC) is an approach that aims to achieve the best possible Qol and to reduce challenging behaviors. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is a method of implementing PCC that has been used in Germany for several years. However, there are no data on the effectiveness of DCM or the challenges of implementation of DCM in German nursing homes.Methods/designIn this quasi-experimental non-randomized cluster-controlled study, the effects of DCM will be compared to 2 comparison groups. 9 nursing homes will take part: 3 will implement DCM, 3 will implement a comparison intervention using an alternative Qol assessment, and 3 have already implemented DCM. The main effect outcomes are Qol, challenging behaviors, staff attitudes toward dementia, job satisfaction and burnout of caregivers. These outcomes will be measured on 3 data points. Different quantitative and qualitative data sources will be collected through the course of the study to investigate the degree of implementation as well as facilitators of and barriers to the implementation process.DiscussionThis study will provide new information about the effectiveness of DCM and the implementation process of DCM in German nursing homes. The study results will provide important information to guide the national discussion about the improvement of dementia-specific Qol, quality of care in nursing homes and allocation of resources. In addition, the study results will provide information for decision-making and implementation of complex psychosocial interventions such as DCM. The findings will also be important for the design of a subsequent randomized controlled trial (e.g. appropriateness of outcomes and measurements, inclusion criteria for participating nursing homes) and the development of a successful implementation strategy.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN43916381.
    BMC Geriatrics 06/2013; 13(1):53. DOI:10.1186/1471-2318-13-53 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    • "Although e.g. irritability can occur in the non-demented and demented older populations it may be quite near to agitation which is one the criteria for melancholic depression in DSM-IV [47,48]. The fatique and somatic factor symptoms, including irritability, may be major features of major and in particular of melancholic depression [49]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background An association between vitamin B12 levels and depressive symptoms (DS) has been reported in several epidemiological studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vitamin B12 levels in population-based samples with melancholic or non-melancholic DS as the relationship between vitamin B12 levels and different subtypes of DS has not been evaluated in previous studies. Methods Subjects without previously known type 2 diabetes, aged 45–74 years were randomly selected from the National Population Register as a part of the Finnish diabetes prevention programme (FIN-D2D). The study population (N = 2806, participation rate 62%) consisted of 1328 men and 1478 women. The health examinations were carried out between October and December 2007 according to the WHO MONICA protocol. The assessment of DS was based on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, cut-off ≥10 points). A DSM-IV- criteria based summary score of melancholic items in the BDI was used in dividing the participants with DS (N = 429) into melancholic (N = 138) and non-melancholic DS (N = 291) subgroups. In the statistical analysis we used chi-squared test, t-test, permutation test, analysis of covariance, multivariate logistic regression analysis and multinomial regression model. Results The mean vitamin B12 level was 331±176 pmol/L in those without DS while the subjects with non-melancholic DS had a mean vitamin B12 level of 324 ± 135 pmol/L, and those with melancholic DS had the lowest mean vitamin B12 level of 292±112 pmol/L (p < 0.001 after adjusted for age, sex, use of antidepressive medication and chronic diseases sum index). The adjusted difference of vitamin B12 levels between the non-melancholic and the melancholic group was 33 pmol/L (95%CI 8 to 57, p = 0.008). Melancholic DS and vitamin B12 levels showed an independent linearly inverse association. The relative risk ratio (RRR) for melancholic DS was 2.75 (95%CI 1.66 to 4.56) in the lowest vitamin B12 level tertile versus the highest (p for linearity <0.001) when those without DS formed the reference group. The RRR in the non-melancholic subgroup was nonsignificant. Conclusions The vitamin B12 level was associated with melancholic DS but not with non-melancholic DS.
    BMC Psychiatry 05/2013; 13(1):145. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-13-145 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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