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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.
To define the prevalence of BPSD and explore their clinical
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
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%).
We found that BPSD are very common in older people admitted to an acute
hospital. Patients and staff would benefit from more specialist
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