Severity and prevalence of behavioral and psychological symptoms among patients of different dementia stages in Taiwan


Arch. Clin. Psychiatry (São Paulo)




Abstract Background To better understand the trends of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) over the disease progression is important to provide psychoeducation for dementia caregivers. Objective This study examined the severity and occurrence of BPSD across the various degrees of the disease. Methods This study was a cross-sectional design. Patients (N = 276) who had dementia from July 2001 to October 2008 were surveyed and assessed for dementia stage, using the clinical dementia rating scale (CDR). BPSD was evaluated using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). We examined the differences between the severities and occurrence of the individual’s BPSD among various CDR stages with the Kruskal-Wallis test and Chi-square test. Results Delusion (p = 0.01), agitation/aggression (p = 0.033), apathy/indifference (p = 0.009), aberrant motor behavior (p < 0.001), nighttime behavior disturbances (p < 0.001), and eating abnormalities (p = 0.001) were significantly different among stages of dementia. The severity of BPSD became exacerbated over the course of the disease, and was highest in moderate (CDR = 2) or severe (CDR = 3) dementia. The occurrence of BPSD was highest when the CDR equaled 2 (97.5%). Discussion The association of global (or certain) BPSD, across different stages of dementia, is a non-linear relationship. These findings suggest the importance of taking into account clinical dementia stage for managing BPSD.

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