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Older adults are among the most susceptible to sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study aimed to determine the (1) prevalence of TBI among older adults in Singapore, and (2) socio-demographic, lifestyle, and clinical correlates of TBI.
Data were extracted from the cross-sectional, Well-being of the Singapore Elderly (WiSE) study. The study included 2,565 participants aged 60 years and above (Mean = 72.75, SD = 9.54). Information on TBI, socio-demographic, and lifestyle factors were collected using participant self-report and verified with the informant report where necessary. Disability was measured using the World Health Organization – Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHO-DAS 2.0). Data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis.
The prevalence of TBI was 3.6%. Being female (vs. male) was found to be associated with decreased odds of having TBI. Having completed secondary education or lower (vs. tertiary education) was found to be associated with increased odds of having TBI. A history of fainting and diabetes were associated with the presence of TBI. Those with TBI were associated with higher disability scores on the WHO-DAS 2.0 than those without TBI.
The current study provides information on the prevalence and associated factors of TBI in the older adult population in Singapore. Since TBI was associated with older adults with diabetes, they must be cautioned about fall risk. Also, given the association with disability, older adults with TBI are likely to require support and rehabilitative care to ensure good quality of life.
This study assessed the prevalence and factor structure of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in a community-based sample of older adults with dementia and identified their correlates.
Data collected from 399 Singapore residents with dementia aged 60 years and above, interviewed along with a family/friend during a national survey, were used for this analysis. Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire assessed older adults’ BPSD. Other data included socio-demographics, dementia severity, cognition, chronic physical conditions, disability, and caregivers’ burden. Exploratory factor analysis assessed BPSD sub-groups, factor scores of which were used to identify socio-demographic, and clinical correlates.
Prevalence of BPSD was 67.9% and 30% of the population had experienced three or more BPSD in the past month. Two distinct and moderately correlated symptom groups representing “psychosis and behavior dysregulation” and “mood disturbance and restlessness” were identified. As factor scores for both the groups increased with older age, poor cognition and caregiver burden, the former was also related to being never married and having no formal education.
Study provides evidence of two distinct groups of BPSD and their important correlates. Clinicians treating BPSD should consider their age and cognitive impairment and be cognizant of their caregivers’ burden.
The ability to recognise a mental illness has important implications as it can aid in timely and appropriate help-seeking, and ultimately improve outcomes for people with mental illness. This study aims to explore the association between recognition and help-seeking preferences and stigmatising attitudes, for alcohol abuse, dementia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia, using a vignette-based approach.
This was a population-based, cross-sectional survey conducted among Singapore Residents (n = 3006) aged 18–65 years. All respondents were asked what they think is wrong with the person in the vignette and who they should seek help from. Respondents were also administered the Personal and Perceived sub scales of the Depression Stigma Scale and the Social Distance Scale. Weighted frequencies and percentages were calculated for categorical variables. A series of multiple logistic and linear regression models were performed separately by vignette to generate odd ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the relationship between help-seeking preference, and recognition and beta coefficients and 95% confidence intervals for the relationship between stigma and recognition.
Correct recognition was associated with less preference to seek help from family and friends for depression and schizophrenia. Recognition was also associated with increased odds of endorsing seeking help from a psychiatric hospital for dementia, depression and schizophrenia, while there was also an increased preference to seek help from a psychologist and psychiatrist for depression. Recognition was associated with less personal and perceived stigma for OCD and less personal stigma for schizophrenia, however, increased odds of social distancing for dementia.
The ability to correctly recognise a mental illness was associated with less preference to seek help from informal sources, whilst increased preference to seek help from mental health professionals and services and less personal and perceived stigma. These findings re-emphasise the need to improve mental health literacy and reinforce the potential benefits recognition can have to individuals and the wider community in Singapore.
Psychotic symptoms are common among older adults and are seen in a wide range of conditions. Most studies examining the prevalence and correlates of psychotic symptoms among older adults have been conducted in Western populations. To address this gap the current study was undertaken to establish the prevalence and correlates of psychotic symptoms and paranoid ideation within a community sample of older adults without dementia in an Asian population.
The Well-being of the Singapore Elderly (WiSE) study was a comprehensive single phase, cross-sectional survey. All respondents were assessed using the Geriatric Mental State examination (GMS). Specific questions of the GMS were then used to establish the prevalence of hallucinations and persecutory delusions.
A total of 2,565 respondents completed the study giving a response rate of 65.6%. The prevalence of any psychotic symptoms in this population of older adults was 5.2%. The odds of hallucinations and any psychotic symptoms were significantly higher among those of Malay ethnicity, and those who had no formal education. Older adults aged 75–84 years were significantly associated with lower odds of having hallucinations (vs. older adult aged 60–74 years), while homemaker status was significantly associated with lower odds of having any psychotic symptoms.
The prevalence of psychotic symptoms among older Asian adults without dementia was higher than that reported from Western countries. Psychotic symptoms were associated with Malay ethnicity, poor cognitive performance and fewer years of schooling, visual and hearing impairment as well as depression and irritability.
Few studies have estimated care burden in large, representative, multi-ethnic Asian population-based informal caregivers of older adults with care needs. This study describes informal caregivers’ care participation for a population-based sample of older adults with care needs in Singapore, investigates differences by dementia status, and examines correlates of caregivers’ burden.
Data collected from 693 pairs of older adults, aged 60 to 100 years, having any care needs, and their informal caregivers, who were aged 21 to 88 years, closely involved in their care and “knew the older resident best,” and were interviewed during a cross-sectional national survey, were used. Clinical characteristics of older adults, including behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and dementia diagnosis, care needs, and socio-demographic characteristics of participants were obtained. Care burden was assessed with the Zarit Burden Interview.
Informal caregivers’ participation was highest in activities related to communication (35.1%), feeding (32%), and bathing (21.1%). Among the older adults with any care need, 356 (51.4%) had dementia. Care burden was significantly associated with married caregivers (odds ratio (OR) 2.4 vs. never married), when their relative belonged to a younger cohort (OR 2.5 vs. >84 years), needed care much of the time (OR 2.5 vs. no care needed), exhibited BPSD (OR 3.5 vs. no BPSD), and had dementia (OR 2.52 vs. no dementia).
Factors related to older adults – more care needs, presence of BPSD, and dementia – were significant contributors to informal caregivers’ burden, and these should be considered while planning interventions to alleviate care burden.
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