Treatment in a ward for elderly patients with dementia in Japan
Shogo Taniguchi,1 Jin Narumoto,1 Keisuke Shibata,1 Nobutaka Ayani,1 Teruyuki Matsuoka,1 Aiko Okamura,1 Kaeko Nakamura,1 Hiroshi Shimizu,2 Kenji Fukui1
1Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; 2Umibeno-mori Hospital, Kochi, Japan
Background: Japan has become the world's most aged country. The percentage of elderly people in Japan is estimated to reach 25.2% in 2013, and the number of patients with dementia is estimated to reach 2.5 million in 2015. In addition to its deterioration of physical function and activities of daily living (ADL), behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) often become major clinical problems, greatly annoying patients and their caregivers. In Japan, we utilize wards for elderly patients with dementia (WEDs) for BPSD treatment. However, there are few studies investigating the effectiveness of treatment in a WED. In such treatment, physical complications are a challenge physicians must overcome while treating BPSD and safely returning patients home or to the institutions in which they live. Therefore, we investigated the effectiveness of treatment in a WED, focusing on physical complications.
Methods: The subjects were 88 patients who were admitted to and discharged from a WED. Severity of dementia, basic ADL, and BPSD were investigated using the Clinical Dementia Rating, Physical Self-Maintenance Scale (PSMS), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Differences in characteristics between patients discharged from the WED because of physical complications and all other patients were also examined.
Results: We found significant improvements in the PSMS score and decreases in delusions and sleep disturbances in all patients. Patients discharged from the WED because of physical complications had significantly greater severity of dementia at discharge compared to all other patients.
Conclusion: Treatment in a WED seems to be effective for BPSD and ADL, but care should be taken regarding physical complications, especially in patients with advanced dementia.
Keywords: aged country, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, physical complications, activities of daily living
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