BACKGROUND: There is wide variation in the rates of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) reported in nursing homes. AIMS: This study aimed to investigate: (1) the prevalence of BPSD in nursing home residents using the BEHAVE-AD; (2) the relationships of BPSD with (a) demographic, (b) dementia, (c) diurnal and (d) nursing home variables; and (3) the inter-relationships between different types of BPSD, as measured by subscales of the BEHAVE-AD. RESULTS: Over 90% of residents exhibited at least one behavioural disturbance. Specifically, there was evidence of psychosis in 60%, depressed mood in 42% and activity disturbances or aggression in 82% of residents. Younger, more functionally impaired residents with a chart diagnosis of psychosis had higher BPSD rates, as did those residing in larger nursing homes. Individual BPSD were significantly intercorrelated. CONCLUSIONS: BPSD are ubiquitous in nursing home residents. Behavioural disturbances are frequently associated with psychosis and/or depression. The findings suggest the need for psychogeriatric services to nursing homes and smaller facilities.
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