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1.  Identity cues and dementia in nursing home intervention 
Work (Reading, Mass.)  2011;40(1):5-14.
This study examines the identity cues that family caregivers and healthcare personnel use with seniors living with dementia and living in nursing homes. The identity cues represent biographical knowledge used to stimulate the dementia sufferer, trigger signals and incite interaction. Our grounded approach hinges on three objectives: to identify and categorize identity cues; to document their uses; and to gain a better understanding of their effectiveness. We interviewed nine family caregivers and 12 healthcare workers. Qualitative data indicates that the participants use identity cues that evoke seniors’ sociological, relational and individual characteristics. These identity cues play a central role in communication and constitute important information that the family caregivers can share with healthcare personnel. They sustain memory, facilitate care and reinforce seniors’ self-value. These results help to define identity, foster a greater role for family caregivers, and constitute a sound basis for the implementation of personalized interventions.
doi:10.3233/WOR-2011-1201
PMCID: PMC3741154  PMID: 21849743 CAMSID: cams3077
Dementia; family caregiver; healthcare personnel; identity cues; nursing home
2.  Detection of delirium by nurses among long-term care residents with dementia 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:4.
Background
Delirium is a prevalent problem in long-term care (LTC) facilities where advanced age and cognitive impairment represent two important risk factors for this condition. Delirium is associated with numerous negative outcomes including increased morbidity and mortality. Despite its clinical importance, delirium often goes unrecognized by nurses. Although rates of nurse-detected delirium have been studied among hospitalized older patients, this issue has been largely neglected among demented older residents in LTC settings. The goals of this study were to determine detection rates of delirium and delirium symptoms by nurses among elderly residents with dementia and to identify factors associated with undetected cases of delirium.
Methods
In this prospective study (N = 156), nurse ratings of delirium were compared to researcher ratings of delirium. This procedure was repeated for 6 delirium symptoms. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were computed. Logistic regressions were conducted to identify factors associated with delirium that is undetected by nurses.
Results
Despite a high prevalence of delirium in this cohort (71.5%), nurses were able to detect the delirium in only a minority of cases (13%). Of the 134 residents not identified by nurses as having delirium, only 29.9% of them were correctly classified. Detection rates for the 6 delirium symptoms varied between 39.1% and 58.1%, indicating an overall under-recognition of symptoms of delirium. Only the age of the residents (≥ 85 yrs) was associated with undetected delirium (OR: 4.1; 90% CI: [1.5–11.0]).
Conclusion
Detection of delirium is a major issue for nurses that clearly needs to be addressed. Strategies to improve recognition of delirium could result in a reduction of adverse outcomes for this very vulnerable population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-7-4
PMCID: PMC2277396  PMID: 18302791
3.  Prevalence of physical and verbal aggressive behaviours and associated factors among older adults in long-term care facilities 
BMC Geriatrics  2005;5:13.
Background
Verbal and physical aggressive behaviours are among the most disturbing and distressing behaviours displayed by older patients in long-term care facilities. Aggressive behaviour (AB) is often the reason for using physical or chemical restraints with nursing home residents and is a major concern for caregivers. AB is associated with increased health care costs due to staff turnover and absenteeism.
Methods
The goals of this secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study are to determine the prevalence of verbal and physical aggressive behaviours and to identify associated factors among older adults in long-term care facilities in the Quebec City area (n = 2 332).
Results
The same percentage of older adults displayed physical aggressive behaviour (21.2%) or verbal aggressive behaviour (21.5%), whereas 11.2% displayed both types of aggressive behaviour. Factors associated with aggressive behaviour (both verbal and physical) were male gender, neuroleptic drug use, mild and severe cognitive impairment, insomnia, psychological distress, and physical restraints. Factors associated with physical aggressive behaviour were older age, male gender, neuroleptic drug use, mild or severe cognitive impairment, insomnia and psychological distress. Finally, factors associated with verbal aggressive behaviour were benzodiazepine and neuroleptic drug use, functional dependency, mild or severe cognitive impairment and insomnia.
Conclusion
Cognitive impairment severity is the most significant predisposing factor for aggressive behaviour among older adults in long-term care facilities in the Quebec City area. Physical and chemical restraints were also significantly associated with AB. Based on these results, we suggest that caregivers should provide care to older adults with AB using approaches such as the progressively lowered stress threshold model and reactance theory which stress the importance of paying attention to the severity of cognitive impairment and avoiding the use of chemical or physical restraints.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-5-13
PMCID: PMC1310539  PMID: 16280091
4.  Physical restraint use among nursing home residents: A comparison of two data collection methods 
BMC Nursing  2004;3:5.
Background
In view of the issues surrounding physical restraint use, it is important to have a method of measurement as valid and reliable as possible. We determined the sensitivity and specificity of physical restraint use a) reported by nursing staff and b) reviewed from medical and nursing records in nursing home settings, by comparing these methods with direct observation.
Methods
We sampled eight care units in skilled nursing homes, seven care units in nursing homes and one long-term care unit in a hospital, from eight facilities which included 28 nurses and 377 residents. Physical restraint use was assessed the day following three periods of direct observation by two different means: interview with one or several members of the regular nursing staff, and review of medical and nursing records. Sensitivity and specificity values were calculated according to 2-by-2 contingency tables. Differences between the methods were assessed using the phi coefficient. Other information collected included: demographic characteristics, disruptive behaviors, body alignment problems, cognitive and functional skills.
Results
Compared to direct observation (gold standard), reported restraint use by nursing staff yielded a sensitivity of 87.4% at a specificity of 93.7% (phi = 0.84). When data was reviewed from subjects' medical and nursing records, sensitivity was reduced to 74.8%, and specificity to 86.3% (phi = 0.54). Justifications for restraint use including risk for falls, agitation, body alignment problems and aggressiveness were associated with the use of physical restraints.
Conclusions
The interview of nursing staff and the review of medical and nursing records are both valid and reliable techniques for measuring physical restraint use among nursing home residents. Higher sensitivity and specificity values were achieved when nursing staff was interviewed as compared to reviewing medical records. This study suggests that the interview of nursing staff is a more reliable method of data collection.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-3-5
PMCID: PMC526298  PMID: 15488144
5.  Factors associated with psychotropic drug use among community-dwelling older persons: A review of empirical studies 
BMC Nursing  2004;3:3.
Background
In the many descriptive studies on prescribed psychotropic drug use by community-dwelling older persons, several sociodemographic and other factors associated with drug use receive inconsistent support.
Method
Empirical reports with data on at least benzodiazepine or antidepressant drug use in samples of older persons published between 1990 and 2001 (n = 32) were identified from major databases and analyzed to determine which factors are most frequently associated with psychotropic drug use in multivariate analyses. Methodological aspects were also examined.
Results
Most reports used probability samples of users and non-users and employed cross-sectional designs. Among variables considered in 5 or more reports, race, proximity to health centers, medical consultations, sleep complaints, and health perception were virtually always associated to drug use. Gender, mental health, and physical health status were associated in about two-thirds of reports. Associations with age, marital status, medication coverage, socioeconomic status, and social support were usually not observed.
Conclusions
The large variety of methods to operationalize drug use, mental health status, and social support probably affected the magnitude of observed relationships. Employing longitudinal designs and distinguishing short-term from long-term use, focusing on samples of drug users exclusively, defining drug use and drug classes more uniformly, and utilizing measures of psychological well-being rather than only of distress, might clarify the nature of observed associations and the direction of causality. Few studies tested specific hypotheses. Most studies focused on individual characteristics of respondents, neglecting the potential contribution of health care professionals to the phenomenon of psychotropic drug use among seniors.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-3-3
PMCID: PMC514897  PMID: 15310409

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