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      A qualitative study of professional caregivers' perceptions of processes contributing to mealtime agitation in persons with dementia in nursing home wards and strategies to attain calmness


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          Describe professional caregivers' perceptions of factors and processes contributing to mealtime agitation and strategies for attaining and maintaining calm mealtimes.


          Qualitative and descriptive.


          A convenience sample of professional caregivers working in two wards for residents with dementia was used. Data were collected during two focus‐group interviews and supplemented with field notes from six reflection groups. Thematic content analysis was conducted. Data collection occurred from 2010–2011.


          Professional caregivers perceived agitation during mealtime as resulting from negative feelings in residents triggered by a lack of or negative social interaction, too much or ambiguous stimuli or demands exceeding residents' capacity. Strategies for attaining calm mealtimes involved thorough planning beforehand. During mealtime, professional caregivers focused on establishing a positive community around the table, helping residents focus on eating and continuously observing residents for subtle signals indicating that agitation was about to develop. The prerequisites to succeed with the strategies were knowledge of the residents' preferences and abilities, knowledge sharing within the team and awareness of one's own communication style. Thus, the professional caregivers operationalized person‐centred care in a mealtime context.

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          Most cited references21

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          Stability of the factor structure of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory in a 31-month follow-up study of a large sample of nursing-home patients with dementia.

          Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are highly prevalent among nursing home patients with dementia. Several studies have investigated subsyndromes of NPS but the stability of these subsyndromes over time has rarely been examined. We have examined the stability over time of the factor structure of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home version (NPI-NH) in a large sample of nursing-home patients with dementia. Nursing-home patients with dementia were assessed with the NPI-NH at baseline (n = 895), and at 12-month (n = 592) and 31-month (n = 278) follow-up assessments, giving three partly overlapping samples. Exploratory factor analysis was done to investigate neuropsychiatric subsyndromes of the NPI-NH at each assessment in these samples. Three- or four-factor solutions were found, termed agitation, psychosis, apathy, and affective symptoms. Depression and anxiety (affective), delusion and hallucination (psychosis), and agitation and irritability (agitation) were the symptoms that most often co-occurred in the same factor. Apathy did not load together with affective symptoms at any of the assessments. Subsyndromes of the NPI-NH are relatively stable over 31-month follow-up assessments in nursing-home patients with dementia, indicating that these subsyndromes may be useful for following the natural course of symptoms as well as observing the effect of interventions. Our findings lend support to the distinction between apathy and affective symptoms, which may have important clinical implications.
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            Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Nursing Home Patients: Factor Structure Invariance of the Dutch Nursing Home Version of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory in Different Stages of Dementia

            Background/Aims: To examine the influence of dementia stage and psychoactive medication use on the factor structure of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home version (NPI-NH) in Dutch nursing home patients. Methods: The NPI-NH was administered to a large sample of 1,437 patients with mild to severe dementia receiving nursing home care. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine behavioural dimensions underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms indicated by the NPI-NH across dementia stages (as assessed with the Global Deterioration Scale – GDS) and in patients with or without psychoactive medication prescribed. Results: In GDS stages 4/5, 6 and 7, a 4- or 5-factor solution was found, with factors referred to as agitation/aggression, depression, psychosis, psychomotor agitation and apathy. These symptom clusters were replicated in the group of drug-naive patients, but only partially in the group of patients on psychoactive medication. Conclusion: The factor structure of the NPI-NH in nursing home patients is consistent with the clinical taxonomy of symptoms, is relatively stable across dementia stages, and is only moderately influenced by psychoactive medication use. The division of depression and apathy into separate behavioural dimensions – also in patients with severe dementia – may have important therapeutic consequences.
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              Interventions on mealtime difficulties in older adults with dementia: a systematic review.

              To evaluate the effects of interventions on mealtime difficulties in older adults with dementia. A systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement. Pubmed, Medline (OVID), CINAHL (EBSCOHost), EBM Reviews (OVID) and PsychINFO (OVID) were searched between January 2004 and September 2012 by using keywords as dementia, Alzheimer, feed(ing), eat(ing), mealtime(s), oral intake, nutrition, intervention, experimental, quasi-experimental and any matched terms. Other sources included Google Scholar and relevant bibliographies. Eligibility criteria were established by defining the population, intervention, comparator, outcomes, timing and setting of interest. Studies were reviewed by title and abstract screening, and full-text assessing for eligibility. Data were abstracted from eligible studies using a self-made structured tool. Eligible studies were classified by intervention, accessed for quality using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies, and graded for evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation Working Group criteria. Twenty-two intervention studies (9 RCTs), including a total of 2082 older adults with dementia and 95 professionals from more than 85 long-term care facilities, were selected, and classified into five types: nutritional supplements, training/education programs, environment/routine modification, feeding assistance and mixed interventions. Eight studies were strong, eleven moderate and three weak in quality. Limitations of body of research included lack of randomization and/or control group, small sample size without power analysis, lack of theory-based interventions and blinding, inadequate statistical analysis and plausible confounding bias. "Nutritional supplements" showed moderate evidence to increase food intake, body weight and BMI. "Training/education programs" demonstrated moderate evidence to increase eating time and decrease feeding difficulty. Both "training/education programs" and "feeding assistance" were insufficient to increase food intake. "Environment/routine modification" indicated low evidence to increase food intake, and insufficient to decrease agitation. Evidence was sparse on nutritional status, eating ability, behavior disturbance, behavioral and cognitive function, or level of dependence. This review provides updated evidence for clinical practice and points out priorities for nursing research. Current evidence is based on a body of research with moderate quality and existing limitations, and needs to be further explored with more rigorous studies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Nurs Open
                Nurs Open
                Nursing Open
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                09 September 2015
                November 2015
                : 2
                : 3 ( doiID: 10.1111/nop2.2015.2.issue-3 )
                : 119-129
                [ 1 ]Lovisenberg Diaconal University College OsloNorway
                [ 2 ]Diakonhjemmet University College OsloNorway
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Ådel Bergland, e‐mail: aadel.bergland@ 123456ldh.no

                © 2015 The Authors. Nursing Open published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 11
                Research Article
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                November 2015
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:4.9.4 mode:remove_FC converted:05.09.2016

                agitation,dementia,mealtime,nursing homes,professional caregivers' perspective


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