Interventions to Address Dementia-Related Behaviors: More Research Needed

January 4, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Studies of nonpharmacologic interventions to address behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia do not yet show enough clinical significance to merit a change in practice; larger and better-designed studies need to be performed, concludes a literature review in the December 2012 Annals of Long-Term Care. To address behavioral and psychological dementia symptoms, early identification is key. First, the individual's medical, neurologic, functional, and psychiatric status must be assessed. Next, behaviors should be assessed, as should the effectiveness of efforts to treat contributing conditions (e.g., pain, urinary tract infection, pneumonia) in stopping the behaviors. The symptoms should be described, and the medication regimen (e.g., interactions, side effects) and laboratory data (e.g., endocrine changes, metabolic abnormalities) should be reviewed.

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