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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.
Declaration of interest
E.V. has received grants and served as consultant, advisor or continuing medical education speaker for the following organisations: AB-Biotics, Allergan, Angelini, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Farmindustria, Ferrer, Gedeon Richter, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Servier, Shire, Sunovion, Takeda, the Brain and Behaviour Foundation, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (CIBERSAM), the Seventh European Framework Programme (ENBREC) and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.
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.
To characterise the nutritional status and to identify malnutrition-associated variables of older adults living in Portuguese nursing homes.
Cross-sectional study. Data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, self-reported morbidity, eating-related problems, nutritional status, cognitive function, depression symptoms, loneliness feelings and functional status were collected by trained nutritionists through a computer-assisted face-to-face structured interview followed by standardised anthropometric measurements. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with being at risk of malnutrition/malnourished.
Portuguese nursing homes.
Nationally representative sample of the Portuguese population aged 65 years or over living in nursing homes.
A total of 1186 individuals (mean age 83·4 years; 72·8 % women) accepted to participate. According to the Mini Nutritional Assessment, 4·8 (95 % CI 3·2, 7·3) % were identified as malnourished and 38·7 (95 % CI 33·5, 44·2) % were at risk of malnutrition. These percentages increased with age and were significantly higher for women. Logistic regression showed (OR; 95 % CI) that older adults reporting no or little appetite (6·5; 2·7, 15·3), those revealing symptoms of depression (2·6; 1·6, 4·2) and those who were more dependent in their daily living activities (4·7; 2·0, 11·1) were also at higher odds of being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
Malnutrition and risk of malnutrition are prevalent among nursing home residents in Portugal. It is crucial to routinely screen for nutritional disorders, as well as risk factors such as symptoms of depression and lower functional status, to prevent and treat malnutrition.
Unregulated care aides provide most of the direct care to nursing home residents. We previously reported the first demographic profile of care aides in Western Canada through the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) longitudinal research program (2007–2022) in applied health services. Here we describe demographic, health, and work life characteristics of aides from 91 nursing homes in Western Canada. Demographics and work life varied significantly across health regions and facility owner-operator models. Our longitudinal cohort of aides from Alberta and Winnipeg had higher emotional exhaustion (a negative attribute), professional efficacy (a positive attribute), and experience of dementia-related responsive behaviours from residents. Overall, results indicate little improvement or worsening of care aide health and quality of work life. Coupled with limited provincial or national initiatives for workforce planning and training of these workers, this signals a long-term care system ill-prepared to care effectively for Canada’s aging population.
Given the urgency of finding cost-effective and innovative solutions to providing community services for aging in place, novel solutions that take advantage of existing infrastructure are clearly needed. In this sequential mixed-method study, we chose to explore the role that nursing homes could play in offering services to a non-traditional target population, namely seniors with loss of independence living in the community. Forty-two (n = 42) nursing homes in the province of New Brunswick completed an online survey, and 10 agreed to participate in face-to-face interviews. Results show that 100 per cent of participants agreed that nursing homes could offer services to seniors in their communities for aging in place. Results suggest that nursing homes are cost-effective, innovative solutions for aging in place.
Major life transitions can negatively impact the emotional well-being of older people. This study examined the effectiveness of interventions that target the three most common transitions in later life, namely bereavement, retirement, and relocation.
A systematic search was performed via MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and reference lists of retrieved non-randomized and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in English that studied the effectiveness of interventions addressing the three transitions in those >50 years of age. Two researchers independently selected the publications, piloted the data extraction form, and critically appraised studies specific to transition type and study design.
A total of 11 studies (bereavement: 7; retirement: 2; relocation: 2) of 8 unique interventions met the inclusion criteria of which nine were RCTs and two were of quasi-experimental designs were reviewed. Six studies were group-based interventions, three studies used individualized sessions, and one intervention used a combination of group and individualized programming. Group size varied (20–32 participants), as did qualifications of those administering the interventions. The methodological quality of included studies was weak. Findings suggest that group-based approaches provided by trained personnel can mitigate the negative health-related consequences associated with major transitions in later life.
Evidence concerning interventions that address mental health challenges associated with these major transitions is limited. Future research should better characterize participants at study outset and use validated measures to capture effectiveness. Use of peer mentorship to navigate such transitions is promising, but given the small number of studies and their methodological weaknesses, further research on effectiveness is warranted.
The risks of polypharmacy can be far greater than the benefits, especially in the elderly. Comorbidity makes polypharmacy very prevalent in this population; thus, increasing the occurrence of adverse effects. To solve this problem, the most common strategy is to use lists of potentially inappropriate medications. However, this strategy is time consuming.
In order to minimize the expenditure of time, our group devised a pilot computer tool (Polimedication) that automatically processes lists of medication providing the corresponding Screening Tool of Older Persons’ potentially inappropriate Prescriptions alerts and facilitating standardized reports. The drug lists for 115 residents in Santa Marta Nursing Home (Fundación San Rosendo, Ourense, Spain) were processed.
The program detected 10.04 alerts/patient, of which 74.29% were not repeated. After reviewing these alerts, 12.12% of the total (1.30 alerts/patient) were considered relevant. The largest number of alerts (41.48%) involved neuroleptic drugs. Finally, the patient's family physician or psychiatrist accepted the alert and made medication changes in 62.86% of the relevant alerts. The largest number of changes (38.64%) also involved neuroleptic drugs. The mean time spent in the generation and review of the warnings was 6.26 minute/patient. Total changes represented a saving of 32.77 € per resident/year in medication.
The application of Polimedication tool detected a high proportion of potentially inappropriate prescriptions in institutionalized elderly patients. The use of the computerized tool achieved significant savings in pharmaceutical expenditure, as well as a reduction in the time taken for medication review.
Care aides working in nursing homes are often exposed to responsive behaviours in older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease. As these behaviors may induce psychological distress, the current research aims to estimate the contribution of a set of variables on the psychological distress reported by care aides. Variables include perceived frequency of responsive behaviours, primary and secondary cognitive appraisal, and coping strategies. A total of ninety-two day care aides were recruited in nursing homes in the Quebec City area. Standard multiple regression was completed and findings show that frequency of responsive behaviours, primary appraisal of threat, secondary appraisal (feeling incapable of changing the situation) and seeking emotional support contribute to care aides’ psychological distress. This study highlights the importance of responsive behaviours on the units and discusses the psychological mechanisms used by care aides.
People with dementia at green care farms (GCFs) are physically more active, have more social interactions, are involved in a larger variety of activities, and come outdoors more often than those in other long-term dementia care settings. These aspects may positively affect health and well-being. This study explored which and how characteristics of GCFs could be implemented in other long-term dementia care settings, taking into account possible facilitators and barriers.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 professionals from GCFs, independent small-scale long-term care facilities, and larger scale long-term care facilities in the Netherlands. The framework method was used to analyze the data.
Several characteristics of GCFs (e.g. homelike aspects, domestic activities, and access to outdoor environments) have already been applied in other types of long-term dementia care settings. However, how and the extent to which these characteristics are being applied differ between GCFs and other types of long-term dementia care settings. Facilitators and barriers for the implementation of characteristics of GCFs were related to the physical environment in which the care facility is situated (e.g. the degree of urbanization), characteristics and competences of staff members (e.g. flexibility, creativity), characteristics and competences of managers (e.g. leadership, vision), and the political context (e.g. application of risk and safety protocols).
Several characteristics can be implemented in other dementia care settings. However, to realize innovation in dementia care it is important that not only the physical environment but also the social and organizational environments are supporting the process of change.
To describe the behavioural and psychiatric problems found in nursing home psychiatric referrals in the Dublin South city area.
We undertook two consecutive surveys of nursing home referrals to the St James’s Hospital psychiatry of old age service over a 2-year period. During the second survey a new clinical nurse specialist was specifically appointed to manage the seven nursing homes included in the study.
The most common reason for referral during survey one was uncooperative/aggressive behaviour (22%). For survey two, patients were most commonly referred for low mood (31%) or agitation (29%). During survey one, the majority of patients assessed were diagnosed with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (41%). This was also a prevalent diagnosis during survey two, affecting 27% of those referred. Only 7% of patients were considered to be delirious during survey one. This rose to 31% the following year making it the most common diagnosis during survey two. Over the 2-year study period, 7% of referred patients were diagnosed with depression. In terms of prescribing practices, the discontinuation rate of antipsychotic mediation following psychiatric input was 13% in survey one. By survey two, this had risen to 47%.
Delirium is often undetected and untreated in nursing homes. Residents presenting with psychiatric symptoms should undergo routine bloods and urinalysis prior to psychiatric referral. Dedicated input from trained psychiatric nursing staff can lead to both an improvement in the recognition of delirium and reduced prescribing rates of antipsychotic medication.
The aim of the study was to develop a family conflict scale for family caregivers of persons with dementia in long-term care facilities and to explore the relationship between family conflicts and family support.
The scale was developed through forward- and back-translations, interviews with 12 staff members in long-term care facilities, and cognitive interviews with 12 family caregivers who met operational definitions in this study. The test was conducted with 334 family caregivers and a retest was conducted with 318 family caregivers who had indicated willingness to participate further.
The internal consistency was relatively high for all subscales (Cronbach's α >0.87); sufficient retest reliability was demonstrated for all subscales (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.69). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor model. Convergent and discriminant validity for each of the family conflict scale subscales, family APGAR, and the Symptom Check List–90 Items–Revised were acceptable. Family caregivers who received no family assistance for caregiving perceived more conflict in their family than those receiving family assistance.
The Japanese version of the family conflict scale for family caregivers of persons with dementia in long-term care facilities was developed. The reliability and validity of the scale were verified. When providing support to family caregivers in long-term care facilities, it is necessary to consider the family from multiple viewpoints, including family conflicts and support conditions from other family members.
We assessed the ability of a telephone-administered cognitive screening test – Minnesota Cognitive Acuity Screen (MCAS) – to predict time to assisted living/nursing home placement (i.e. institutionalization) and homecare/institutionalization in healthy controls (HC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Participants (N = 146; HC = 37; MCI = 70; AD = 39) had baseline MCAS testing and were re-contacted over eight years for dates of starting homecare, institutionalization, and death. Occasionally, outcomes were obtained via medical records. Accounting for informative censoring due to death within a competing risks framework, Cox regression examined the associations of baseline MCAS performance with the start of (a) institutionalization and (b) homecare/institutionalization.
Hazard ratios (HR) captured the effect of a ten-point difference in baseline MCAS scores, corresponding to a change from the MCI/HC to AD/MCI boundaries. In unadjusted models, increased baseline cognitive impairment was associated with nearly two-fold increases in the hazard of institutionalization (HR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.32, 2.48) and homecare/institutionalization (HR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.44, 2.42). However, hazards were not proportional over time in models adjusting for sex. This was resolved when regressions were run for men and women separately. Both sexes showed significant increases in the hazard of institutionalization (Females: HR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.53–3.74; Males: HR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.02–2.76) and homecare/institutionalization (Females: HR = 2.31, 95% CI = 1.66, 3.21; Males: HR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.32, 2.96) with increased impairment, although hazards were lower for males.
Telephone-administered MCAS provides useful information about the risk of needing homecare assistance or institutionalization. It may be particularly useful when office/home visits are prohibitive but cognitive monitoring is indicated.
There are some existing barriers posed by neuropsychological tests that interfere with the assessment of cognitive functioning by staff who work in long-term care facilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of assessing cognitive function through conversation.
A total of 100 care staff was randomly selected as participants. Each staff member evaluated cognitive function in one to three residents using the Conversational Assessment of Neurocognitive Dysfunction (CANDy), which is a screening test for dementia using conversation. Other scales used were the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer’ s Disease (BEHAVE-AD), and quality-of-life questionnaire for the elderly with dementia (QOL-D).
A total of 80 care staff members and 158 residents were analyzed. When the CANDy involved an evaluation based on face-to-face communication, it demonstrated significant correlations with the MMSE, BEHAVE-AD, and several indices of the QOL-D (e.g. negative affect and actions, communication ability, restless, and spontaneity and activity). In contrast, when the CANDy involved an evaluation based on an impression of a typical conversation, it only demonstrated significant relationships with the MMSE and the spontaneity and activity index of the QOL-D.
Conversational assessment is a useful means to assess cognitive functioning and to promote interactions between residents and care staff in long-term care facilities.
Insomnia symptoms are common among old people, and hypnotics and sedative drugs are often prescribed in spite of small benefits. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of insomnia symptoms and to analyze the association between insomnia symptoms, cognitive level, and prescription of hypnotics and sedatives among old people living in nursing homes.
The study comprised 2,135 people living in nursing homes in the county of Västerbotten, Sweden. Data concerning hypnotic and sedative drugs, cognitive function, and prevalence of insomnia symptoms were collected, using the Multi-Dimensional Dementia Assessment Scale (MDDAS).
The three most common insomnia symptoms were “sleeps for long periods during the day,” “interrupted night-time sleep,” and “wakes up early in the morning” with 57.8%, 56.4%, and 48.0%, respectively, of the residents exhibiting the symptoms at least once a week. Different insomnia symptoms showed different association patterns with sex and age. Most insomnia symptoms were more common among people with cognitive impairment compared to those with no cognitive impairment and seemed to reach their peak prevalence in people with moderate to severe cognitive impairment, subsequently decreasing with further cognitive decline. Of the study population, 24.0% were prescribed hypnotics and sedatives. Prescriptions were more common among those without cognitive impairment, and among those exhibiting the symptom “difficulty initiating sleep.”
Insomnia symptoms and prescription of hypnotics and sedatives are common among old people living in nursing homes. Considering the risk of adverse effects, it is important to regularly re-evaluate the need for these drugs.
The Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) method is an internationally recognized complex intervention in dementia research and care for implementing person-centered care. The Leben-QD II trial aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of DCM with regard to caregivers.
The nine participating nursing home units were allocated to three groups: (1) DCM method experienced ≥ 1 year, (2) DCM newly introduced during this trial, and (3) regular rating of residents’ quality of life (control group). Linear mixed models were fit to cluster-aggregated data after 0, 6, and 18 months, adjusting for repeated measurements and confounders. The primary outcome was the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ) score; the secondary outcomes were the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI).
The analysis included 201 caregivers with 290 completed questionnaires (all three data collection time points). The ADQ showed a significant time and time*intervention effect. At baseline, the estimated least-square means for the ADQ were 71.98 (group A), 72.46 (group B), and 71.15 (group C). The non-linear follow-up of group A indicated an estimated-least square means of 69.71 (T1) and 68.97 (T2); for group B, 72.80 (T1) and 72.29 (T2); and for group C, 66.43 (T1) and 70.62 (T2).
The DCM method showed a tendency toward negatively affecting the primary and secondary outcomes; this finding could be explained by the substantial deviation in adherence to the intervention protocol.