Background: Vocally disruptive behavior (VDB) in the elderly is a common condition, especially in people with dementia, but difficult to treat. It may occur in as many as 40% of nursing home residents. This study is a review of the existing literature on this condition.
Method: The literature review was conducted using PubMed (particularly Medline and the Cochrane database) and reference lists from relevant publications in English, French, and German.
Results: Most studies are small and no conclusive prevalence data are available. Many biological and psychosocial treatments have been advocated, but most studies are little more than anecdotal case reports. It is evident that VDB can have deleterious consequences on others and the patients themselves, although no studies specifically examine the range or the pervasiveness of VDB. Etiopathogenic research on VDB is still in its infancy.
Conclusions: Most aspects surrounding VDB are insufficiently understood. The heterogeneity and multiple contributive factors regarding VDB suggest quite convincingly that a panoply of different interventions tailored to the individual's needs will be required to overcome VDB and the suffering related to it.