Natural course of neuropsychiatric symptoms in nursing home patients with mental-physical multimorbidity in the first eight months after admission

van den Brink, A., Gerritsen, D. L., de Valk, M. M. H., Oude Voshaar, R. & Koopmans, R., 18-Nov-2018, In : AGING & MENTAL HEALTH. p. 1-7 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: Aging societies will bring an increase in the number of long-term care patients with mental-physical multimorbidity (MPM). This paper aimed to describe the natural course of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in patients with MPM in the first 8 months after admission to a geronto-psychiatric nursing home (GP-NH) unit.

METHODS: Longitudinal cohort study among 63 patients with MPM no dementia living in 17 GP-NH units across the Netherlands. Data collection consisted of chart review, semi-structured interviews, and brief neuropsychological testing, among which our primary outcome measure the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted.

RESULTS: Our study showed a significant increase of the NPI total score (from 25.3 to 29.3, p = 0.045), and the total scores of a NPI hyperactivity cluster (from 9.7 to 11.8, p = 0.039), and a NPI mood/apathy cluster (from 7.7 to 10.1, p = 0.008). Just over 95% had any clinically relevant symptom at baseline and/or six months later, of which irritability was the most prevalent and persistent symptom and the symptom with the highest incidence. Hyperactivity was the most prevalent and persistent symptom cluster. Also, depression had a high persistence.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate the omnipresence of NPS of which most were found to be persistent. Therefore, we recommend to explore opportunities to reduce NPS in NH patients with MPM, such as creating a therapeutic milieu, educating the staff, and evaluating patient's psychotropic drug use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18-Nov-2018

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