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Nursing home (NH) residents with dementia is exposed to high rates of psychotropic prescriptions. Our objectives were to: (1) pool the prevalence estimates of psychotropic polypharmacy from the existing literature and (2) examine potentially influential factors that are related to a higher or lower prevalence.
Meta-analysis of data collected from randomized trials, quasi-experimental, prospective or retrospective cohort, and cross-sectional studies. English-language searches of PubMed and PsycINFO were completed by November 2020. Included studies reported prevalence estimates of psychotropic polypharmacy (i.e. defined as either two-or-more or three-or-more medications concurrently) in NH residents with dementia.
Setting and Participants:
NH residents with dementia.
Random-effects models were used to pool the prevalence of psychotropic polypharmacy in NH residents with dementia across studies. Estimates were provided for both two-or-more and three-or-more concurrent medications. Heterogeneity and publication bias were measured. Meta-regression examined the influence of the percentage of the sample who were male, mean age of the sample, geographic region (continent), sample size, and study year on the prevalence of psychotropic polypharmacy.
Twenty-five unique articles were included comprising medications data from 92,370 NH residents with dementia in 12 countries. One-in-three (33%, [95% CI: 28%, 39%]) NH residents with dementia received two-or-more psychotropic medications concurrently. One-in-eight (13%, [95% CI: 10%, 17%]) received three-or-more psychotropic medications concurrently. Estimates were highly variable across both definitions of psychotropic polypharmacy (p < 0.001). Among study-level demographics, geographic region, sample size, or study year, only male sex was associated with greater use of two-or-more psychotropic medications (Unadjusted OR = 1.02, p = 0.006; Adjusted OR = 1.04, p = 0.07).
Psychotropic polypharmacy is common among NH residents with dementia. Identifying the causes of utilization and the effects on resident health and well-being should be prioritized by federal entities seeking to improve NH quality.
The behavior problems in residents may affect professionals’ performance at work, quality of work life, and even their health. Thus, it is important to have instruments that allow to estimate their prevalence. The objective of this study was to validate the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist-Nursing Homes (RMBPC-NH; Allen et al., 2003) in a Spanish population. Specifically, it was tested the factor structure of the RMBPC-NH proposed by Wagner et al. (1995). Moreover, the relevance of the different types of problems for the working performance, at the level of individuals and institutions, was explored.
In the present study, a total of 200 professionals participated.
A Confirmatory Factor Analysis was conducted using WLSMV estimator in Mplus 7. Results showed a good fit to the data for the four-factor model (?2(813) = 1733.73, p<.001, CFI = .90, TIL = .90, RMSEA = .08). Thus, it can be concluded that the original factor structure proposed by Wagner et al. (1995) and replicated by Allen et al. (2003) can also be applied to Spanish staff nursing homes. The reliability of the scale was adequate (α from .86 to .93). Moreover, different descriptive and correlational results showed that both the factor scores of the Spanish adaptation of the RMBPC-NH and the importance of each type of problem were associated to different variable related.
After analyzing the factor structure, reliability and validity of the adaptation of the RMBPC-NH scale for Spanish staff nursing homes it has found that it has good psychometric properties, so it could be a useful tool for this population.
This work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant number PSI2016-79803-R).
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has accounted for more than 25 000 cases in Ireland with approximately 28% of the clusters in nursing homes as of June 2020. The older population is the most vulnerable to serious complications from this illness and over 90% of deaths due to COVID-19 to date have been in patients over the age of 65. Continuing to provide routine care within nursing homes in these challenging times is an essential part of ensuring that presentations to hospitals for non-essential reasons are minimized. In this article, we describe a project being undertaken by a rural Psychiatry of Old Age Service in the northwest of Ireland. We aim to provide ordinary care in extraordinary times by using mobile tablets within the nursing homes and long-stay facilities in our region for remote video consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Family carers (FCs) of nursing home (NH) residents are best placed to notice deteriorations that signal impending death in their relative, which can open a conversation with healthcare professionals (HCPs) about adjusting the care plan. We explored contributors to bereaved FCs’ decision to transition towards palliative-oriented care for their relatives in NHs.
This qualitative descriptive study used a phenomenological design. Thirty-two bereaved FCs across 13 Italian NHs completed semi-structured interviews. Additional data were collected on NH referrals to palliative care services (PCS) in the 6 months before study start and treatments provided in the last week of life. Content analysis with a combined inductive and deductive approach was applied to identify codes and fit them into an a priori framework. When codes did not fit, they were grouped into new categories, which were finally gathered into themes.
FCs reported four types of “trigger events” that made them doubt that their relative would recover: (1) physical deterioration (e.g., stopping eating/walking or swallowing problems); (2) social confirmation (e.g., confirming their relative's condition with friends); (3) multiple hospitalizations; and (4) external indicators (e.g., medical examinations by external consultants). A “resident-centered environment” helped FCs recognize trigger events and “raise awareness of the possibility of death”; however, the “need for reassurance” was pivotal to a “gradual transition towards palliative-oriented care”. When participants did not recognize the trigger event, their relative continued to receive curative-oriented care. NHs that referred residents to PCS discussed palliative-oriented care more frequently with FCs, had a lower nurse-to-resident and nurse aide-to-resident ratio, and administered more palliative-oriented care.
Significance of results
Trigger events represent an opportunity to discuss residents’ prognosis and are the starting point for a gradual transition towards palliative-oriented care. Adequate staffing, teamwork, and communication between FCs and healthcare professionals contribute to a sensitive, timely shift in care goals.
Nursing home residents with dementia are sensitive to detrimental auditory environments. This paper presents the first literature review of empirical research investigating (1) the (perceived) intensity and sources of sounds in nursing homes, and (2) the influence of sounds on health of residents with dementia and staff.
A systematic review was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. Study quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. We used a narrative approach to present the results.
We included 35 studies. Nine studies investigated sound intensity and reported high noise intensity with an average of 55–68 dB(A) (during daytime). In four studies about sound sources, human voices and electronic devices were the most dominant sources. Five cross-sectional studies focused on music interventions and reported positives effects on agitated behaviors. Four randomized controlled trials tested noise reduction as part of an intervention. In two studies, high-intensity sounds were associated with decreased nighttime sleep and increased agitation. The third study found an association between music and less agitation compared to other stimuli. The fourth study did not find an effect of noise on agitation. Two studies reported that a noisy environment had negative effects on staff.
The need for appropriate auditory environments that are responsive to residents’ cognitive abilities and functioning is not yet recognized widely. Future research needs to place greater emphasis on intervention-based and longitudinal study design.
The aim of this study was to explore the association between specific aspects of carer distress and time until nursing home admission (NHA) in people with mild dementia.
Prospective cohort study.
Participants were recruited from the Dementia Study of Western Norway (DemVest).
This study included 107 participants admitted to a nursing home who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n = 64) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB, n = 43) and their primary carers.
The Relative Stress Scale (RSS) was used to assess the level of reported distress in carers. Adjusted partial least square (PLS) prediction analysis of baseline items of the RSS was used to study the associations between individual items of the RSS and time until NHA.
Carer distress is an important contributor to early NHA, explaining 19.3% of the total variance of time until NHA in the model without covariates. In the adjusted PLS model, the most important RSS predictors of time until NHA were feeling frustrated (estimate = −137; CI, −209, −64.5), having limitations on social life (estimate = −118; CI, −172, −64), not being able to get away on vacation (estimate −116; CI, −158.3, −73.7), and feeling unable to cope with the situation (estimate = −63; CI, −122.6, −3.4).
Preservation of the informal care capacity represents important steps for improving the management of resources in dementia care. This study identifies aspects of carer distress associated with a shorter time until NHA. Looking beyond the sum score of the RSS helps promote the development of flexible and tailored interventions and perhaps delay NHA.
To evaluate the effect of the PROPER intervention in nursing home residents with dementia on the prevalence of psychotropic drug use and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
A cluster-randomized controlled design with two parallel groups (intervention versus usual care) and assessments at 0, 6, 12, and 18 months.
Thirty-one dementia special care units within 13 long-term care organizations in the Netherlands.
Three hundred eighty nursing home residents with dementia
The PROPER intervention consisted of a structured and repeated multidisciplinary medication review, supported by education and continuous evaluation.
Prescriptions of antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics, and occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The prescription of any type of psychotropic drugs increased in the intervention group, and decreased in the control group, with an estimated difference of 3.9 percentage points per 6 months (p = 0.01). Effects for the individual drug groups were minor (differences of 1.6 percentage points and below per 6 months) and not statistically significant. The occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms remained stable in both the intervention and control groups during the follow-up of 18 months.
The PROPER intervention failed to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing the prevalence of psychotropic drugs. It may be interesting to enrich the intervention with components that address personal attitudes and communication between nursing home professionals, not only with respect to the prescription of psychotropic drugs, but also to neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The study has been registered in The Netherlands Trial Register (NTR3569).
Person-centred care is recognized as best practice in dementia care. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a stakeholder engagement practice change initiative aimed at increasing the provision of person-centred mealtimes in a residential care home (RCH). A single-group, time series design was used to assess the impact of the practice change initiative on mealtime environment across four time periods (pre-intervention, 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up). Statistically significant improvements were noted in all mealtime environment scales by 6 months, including the physical environment (z = -3.06, p = 0.013), social environment (z = -3.69, p = 0.001), relationship and person-centred scale (z = -3.51, p = 0.003), and overall environment scale (z = -3.60, p = 0.002). This practice change initiative, which focused on enhancing stakeholder engagement, provided a feasible method for increasing the practice of person-centred care during mealtimes in an RCH through the application of supportive leadership, collaborative decision making, and staff engagement.
This work quantitatively assesses the potential reasons behind the difference in prices paid by care home residents in England. Evidence suggests that the price paid by private payers is higher than that paid for publicly supported residents, and this is often attributed to the market power wielded by local authorities as the dominant purchaser in local markets. Estimations of private prices at the local authority level are used to assess the difference in price paid between private and public prices, the fees gap, using data from 2008 to 2010. Controlling for local area and average care home characteristics, the results indicate that both care home and local authority market power play a role in the price determination of the market.
Use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term aged care (LTC) is prevalent and commonly exceeds the recommended duration, but contributors to this problem are not well understood. The objective of this study is to provide a snapshot of the features of and contributors to prolonged use of antipsychotic medications (>12 weeks) among a sample of LTC residents.
We present retrospective and baseline data collected for the Australian Halting Antipsychotic Use in Long-Term Care (HALT) single-arm longitudinal deprescribing trial.
Twenty-four long-term care facilities in Sydney, Australia.
The HALT study included 146 older people living in 24 Sydney LTC homes who had been prescribed a regular antipsychotic medication for at least 3 months at baseline.
Detailed file audit was conducted to identify the date and indication recorded at initial prescription, consenting practices, longitudinal course of prescribing, and recommendations for review of antipsychotic medication. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and functional dependence at baseline were assessed via LTC staff interview. Cognition at baseline was assessed in a participant interview (where possible).
Antipsychotics were prescribed for 2.2 years on average despite recommendations by a doctor or pharmacist for review in 62% of cases. Consent for antipsychotic prescription was accessible for only one case and contraindications for use were common. Longer use of antipsychotics was independently associated with higher dose of the antipsychotic drug and greater apathy, but not with other BPSD.
Antipsychotic medications appeared to be prescribed in this sample as a maintenance treatment in the absence of active indicated symptoms and without informed consent. Standard interventions, including recommendations for review, had been insufficient to ensure evidence-based prescribing.
Nearly half of care home residents with advanced dementia have clinically significant agitation. Little is known about costs associated with these symptoms toward the end of life. We calculated monetary costs associated with agitation from UK National Health Service, personal social services, and societal perspectives.
Prospective cohort study.
Thirteen nursing homes in London and the southeast of England.
Seventy-nine people with advanced dementia (Functional Assessment Staging Tool grade 6e and above) residing in nursing homes, and thirty-five of their informal carers.
Data collected at study entry and monthly for up to 9 months, extrapolated for expression per annum. Agitation was assessed using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI). Health and social care costs of residing in care homes, and costs of contacts with health and social care services were calculated from national unit costs; for a societal perspective, costs of providing informal care were estimated using the resource utilization in dementia (RUD)-Lite scale.
After adjustment, health and social care costs, and costs of providing informal care varied significantly by level of agitation as death approached, from £23,000 over a 1-year period with no agitation symptoms (CMAI agitation score 0–10) to £45,000 at the most severe level (CMAI agitation score >100). On average, agitation accounted for 30% of health and social care costs. Informal care costs were substantial, constituting 29% of total costs.
With the increasing prevalence of dementia, costs of care will impact on healthcare and social services systems, as well as informal carers. Agitation is a key driver of these costs in people with advanced dementia presenting complex challenges for symptom management, service planners, and providers.
Discourses on later-life housing and care are polarised. Ageing in place – typically in one's long-term dwelling – is often presented as the most desirable living arrangement, while moving to a congregate environment tends to be regarded as a last resort. Such polarised discourses obscure older people's experiences as they contemplate needs for housing, health and social care. To expand current understandings of mobility intentions, this paper examines ‘time work’ – or actions undertaken to exert some agency over time – as older people with chronic health conditions and disabilities navigate present and future support arrangements. Based on an interpretive analysis of qualitative interviews with 22 older persons receiving home care in Ontario, Canada, I identify three themes that highlight the temporal aspects of mobility intentions: (a) maintaining continuity with the past and present, (b) constructing alternative futures and (c) facing precarity. Focusing on time work shows how people make sense of ageing in place and/or relocating not only in relation to their physical, social and psychological capacities, but also in relation to perceptions of the past, present and future. Time work, moreover, has implications for feelings of security in the present and a sense of control over the future. Based on these findings, I make suggestions for developing a comprehensive continuum of supports, so all older people can make meaningful choices concerning housing and care.
This is a retrospective cohort study based on data from five nursing homes which aims to appraise how physical and cognitive characteristics of nursing home residents were associated with the use of restraints, and to provide information on their prevalence in Spain. The goal was to assess, in a visual way, the possible interactions between the nursing homes residents’ characteristics and their association with the use of restraints. Motivation, risk factors, characteristics of the residents analysed by validated rating systems that assess mobility, level of dependence, cognitive condition and nutritional status, and their association with the use of restraints, were described by means of linear and non-linear multivariate approaches in the form of self-organised maps. Findings showed that the prevalence of restraints was high when compared to other developed countries. The visual analysis reinforced the knowledge that a greater impairment was associated with the use of restraints and vice versa. However, the residents’ characteristics were not always associated with the use of restraints. Subjective factors seem to play a relevant role in decision-making, so it is important to assess risk factors continuously and determine the actual need for the use of restraints from an individual perspective by basing the criteria on specific objectives, and on consistent, reproducible and reliable methods. Initiatives to minimise these subjective factors should be promoted. Likewise, a clear definition of physical restraints should be offered at each centre. In addition, effective legislation that clearly states the need, alternatives and motivation for the use of restraints is needed.
The elderly population and numbers of nursing homes residents are growing at a rapid pace globally. Uncertainty exists regarding the actual rates of major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as previous evidence documenting high rates relies on suboptimal methodology.
To carry out a systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence and correlates of MDD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia spectrum disorder among nursing homes residents without dementia.
Major electronic databases were systematically searched from 1980 to July 2017 for original studies reporting on the prevalence and correlates of MDD among nursing homes residents without dementia. The prevalence of MDD in this population was meta-analysed through random-effects modelling and potential sources of heterogeneity were examined through subgroup/meta-regression analyses.
Across 32 observational studies encompassing 13 394 nursing homes residents, 2110 people were diagnosed with MDD, resulting in a pooled prevalence rate of 18.9% (95% CI 14.8–23.8). Heterogeneity was high (I2 = 97%, P≤0.001); no evidence of publication bias was observed. Sensitivity analysis indicated the highest rates of MDD among North American residents (25.4%, 95% CI 18–34.5, P≤0.001). Prevalence of either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia spectrum disorder could not be reliably pooled because of the paucity of data.
MDD is highly prevalent among nursing homes residents without dementia. Efforts towards prevention, early recognition and management of MDD in this population are warranted.
Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide the skilled component of nursing care in Canadian residential long-term care facilities, yet we know little about this important workforce. We surveyed 309 RNs and 448 LPNs from 91 nursing homes across Western Canada and report descriptively on their demographics and work and health-related outcomes. LPNs were significantly younger than RNs, worked more hours, and had less nursing experience. LPNs also experienced significantly more dementia-related responsive behaviours from residents compared to RNs. Younger LPNs and RNs reported significantly worse burnout (emotional exhaustion) and poorer mental health compared to older age groups. Significant differences in demographics and work- and health-related outcomes were also found within the LPN and RN samples by province, region, and owner-operator model. These findings can be used to inform important policy decisions and workplace planning to improve quality of work life for nurses in residential long-term care facilities.
To develop a representative full cost model for a UK version of the multi-component, non-pharmacological Namaste Care intervention for care home residents with advanced dementia.
The Namaste Care Intervention UK comprises multiple individual cost components, and a comprehensive list of all possible resources that could be expended in each cost component formed the initial stage of the cost model development. Resource use was divided into three key areas: staff, capital and consumables. Representative costs were identified for each of the possible resources, with a standard approach being used for all resources within each of the three key areas.
Assumptions were made regarding the number and duration of sessions, group size, involvement of different staff members, and additional activity before and after a session, as these all have an impact on resource use and hence cost. A comparable ‘usual care’ session for residents not receiving Namaste Care was also costed to enable the ‘additional’ cost of delivering Namaste Care to be calculated.
The full cost model indicates that Namaste Care Intervention UK costs approximately £8-£10 more per resident per 2-hour session than a comparable period of usual care. However, positive impacts on resident and staff well-being resulting from receiving Namaste Care will also have their own associated costs/benefits which may negate the ‘additional’ cost of the intervention.
The cost model provides the first opportunity to investigate the full costs associated with Namaste Care, and will be refined as additional information is captured during subsequent phases of the research.
In Canadian residential long-term care, paid companion services are increasingly viewed as helping to meet older adults’ psycho-social needs. Complementing the critique of these services from a political economy perspective, analyses of companions’ talk about their work can illuminate not only why companions stay in devalued and often invisible work, but also how social assumptions and circulating narratives about nursing homes and older adults are implicated in this process. In this article, we draw on in-depth analyses of interviews with both companions and organisational representatives. We interpret companions’ accounts in relation to their need to justify the necessity for their work to their employers (families), to nurture good relationships with the facilities in which they work, and to maintain a sense of identity as a responsible, conscientious and ‘caring self’. In this way, these precarious workers inadvertently reproduce dominant narratives, including those that stigmatise dementia and residential care, and facilitate the privatisation of person-centred, relational care. Organisational representatives generally reproduce similar assumptions about care responsibilities, in a context in which facilities are increasingly challenged to meet a range of resident needs. Discussion highlights tensions around responsibility for psycho-social care in nursing homes, highlighting organisational vested interests in avoiding risk and downloading responsibilities to families and to private, independent and temporary workers.
Care home staff stress and burnout may be related to high turnover and associated with poorer quality care. We systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed studies reporting stress and burnout and associated factors in staff for people living with dementia in long-term care.
We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science databases, and CINAHL database from January 2009 to August 2017. Two raters independently rated study validity using standardized criteria. We meta-analyzed burnout scores across comparable studies using a random effects model.
17/2854 identified studies met inclusion criteria. Eight of the nine studies reporting mean Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) scores found low or moderate burnout levels. Meta-analysis of four studies using the 22-item MBI (n = 598) found moderate emotional exhaustion levels (mean 18.34, 95% Confidence Intervals 14.59–22.10), low depersonalization (6.29, 2.39–10.19), and moderate personal accomplishment (33.29, 20.13–46.46). All three studies examining mental health-related quality of life reported lower levels in carer age and sex matched populations. Staff factors associated with higher burnout and stress included: lower job satisfaction, lower perceived adequacy of staffing levels, poor care home environment, feeling unsupported, rating home leadership as poor and caring for residents exhibiting agitated behavior. There was preliminary evidence that speaking English as a first language and working shifts were associated with lower burnout levels.
Most care staff for long-term care residents with dementia experience low or moderate burnout levels. Prospective studies of care staff burnout and stress are required to clarify its relationship to staff turnover and potentially modifiable risk factors.
Non-pharmacological interventions for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) have been developed; however, a systematic review on the effectiveness of this type of intervention from a perspective of ergonomics is lacking. According to ergonomics, the capabilities of Persons with Dementia (PwD) should be considered in the interventions for the outcomes to be reliable. We aimed to systematically review the non-pharmacological interventions for BPSD in nursing home residents with an additional assessment criterion based on ergonomics, specifically, capability consideration.
The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were searched for non-pharmacological interventions treating BPSD in nursing homes. The interventions were categorized according to the capabilities of PwD required to participate. Study quality was assessed by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) evidence hierarchy and the capability consideration.
Sixty-four clinical trials met the inclusion criteria; 41 trials reported a significant reduction in at least one BPSD symptom; 20 trials reported no significant reduction in BPSD symptoms; three trials reported adverse effects after the intervention. Interventions were categorized into sensory-, cognition-, and movement-oriented. Capabilities of PwD were not considered in 28 trials, especially for sensory capabilities.
The majority of the clinical trials reported a significant reduction in BPSD. The quality of evidence for nonpharmacological interventions in these trials is low due to the lack of capability consideration, data inhomogeneity, and inadequate study design and reporting. Future studies should focus on improving the quality of evidence by including capability consideration and examining if a relationship between capability consideration and effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions exists.