Systematic reviews 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: 3.5). 07/2012; 4(4):28. DOI: 10.1186/alzrt131
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Introduction
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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    ABSTRACT: We assess for the mediation of the association between older person cognitive impairment and caregiver depressive symptoms through older person BPS and functional limitations, and whether the mediation varies by caregiver-older person relationship (spouse/adult child). Data for 1111 older person (aged 75+ with activity of daily living (ADL) limitation)-caregiver dyads from Singapore were used. The outcome variable was dichotomous (caregiver clinically significant depressive symptoms [CSDS]: yes/no) in the primary analysis and continuous (caregiver depressive symptoms score) in the sensitivity analysis. The causal steps approach assessed for the mediation of the association between older person cognitive impairment (yes/no) and the outcome variable through the two potential mediators. A bootstrapping approach calculated point estimates and confidence intervals (CIs) of the indirect (∼mediated) effects. Variation of the indirect effects by caregiver-older person relationship was also assessed. In the primary analysis, the causal steps approach supported older person BPS and functional limitations as mediators. The bootstrapping approach confirmed both as significant mediators, though BPS (indirect effect odds ratio (OR) 1.32 [95% bootstrap CI 1.19,1.48]; %mediation: 70.6%) was a stronger mediator than functional limitations (1.04 [1.01,1.11]; %mediation: 11.5%). Variation of the indirect effects by caregiver-older person relationship was not supported. Results of the sensitivity analysis confirmed these results. We conclude that while caring for an older person with cognitive impairment is detrimental for the caregiver's mood, management of associated BPS and functional limitations, especially the former, among such older persons may reduce depressive symptoms among their caregivers. Spouse as well as adult child caregivers benefit.
    Archives of gerontology and geriatrics 10/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.archger.2013.10.004 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Dementia is common in older people admitted to acute hospitals. There are concerns about the quality of care they receive. Behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia (BPSD) seem to be particularly challenging for hospital staff. Aims To define the prevalence of BPSD and explore their clinical associations. Method Longitudinal cohort study of 230 people with dementia, aged over 70, admitted to hospital for acute medical illness, and assessed for BPSD at admission and every 4 (±1) days until discharge. Other measures included length of stay, care quality indicators, adverse events and mortality. Results Participants were very impaired; 46% at Functional Assessment Staging Scale (FAST) stage 6d or above (doubly incontinent), 75% had BPSD, and 43% had some BPSD that were moderately/severely troubling to staff. Most common were aggression (57%), activity disturbance (44%), sleep disturbance (42%) and anxiety (35%). Conclusions We found that BPSD are very common in older people admitted to an acute hospital. Patients and staff would benefit from more specialist psychiatric support.
    The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 07/2014; 205(3). DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.113.130948 · 7.34 Impact Factor
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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 · 3.61 Impact Factor

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