Behaviour changes in dementia. 1: Point of entry data of a prospective study.
Hope T., Keene J., Gedling K., Cooper S., Fairburn C., Jacoby R.
OBJECTIVE: This article analyses behaviour changes in dementia at the point of entry to a longitudinal study. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal study of behaviour in dementia, with autopsy follow-up. SETTING: Subjects with dementia, living at home with a carer. All lived in Oxfordshire, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-seven people with dementia (Alzheimer's disease and/or vascular dementia) who were living at home with a carer. MEASURES: At 4-monthly intervals, the carers were interviewed and the subjects with dementia were assessed cognitively. Subjects' behaviour was assessed using the Present Behavioural Examination. This is an investigator-based, semi-structured interview consisting of eight main sections covering many different aspects of behaviour. The 121 main questions, with 66 further 'nested' questions, have been shown to have high reliability. RESULTS: This article analyses the types of behaviour change reported by carers at the point of entry to this long-term study. Few correlations were found between behaviour and age, gender and time since onset of dementia. Some types of behaviour were significantly more prevalent in those with greater cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS: Many of these changes create problems for carers, for example increased aggressive behaviour, wandering, wakefulness at night, incontinence and persecutory ideas. In general, they are more prevalent in people with more severe dementia.