<h4>Background</h4>Vocally disruptive behaviour (VDB) is relatively common in nursing home residents but difficult to treat. There is limited study on prevalence and treatment of VDB. We hypothesise that VDB is a result of complex interaction between patient factors and environmental contributors.<h4>Methods</h4>Residents of nursing homes in south Dublin were the target population for this study. Inclusion criteria were that the residents were 65 years or over and exhibited VDB significant enough for consideration in the resident's care plan. Information on typology and frequency of VDB, Interventions employed and their efficacy, diagnoses, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory scores, Mini-Mental State Examination scores, and Barthel Index scores were obtained.<h4>Results</h4>Eight percent of nursing home residents were reported to display VDB, most commonly screaming (in 39.4% of vocally disruptive residents). VDB was associated with physical agitation and dementia; together, these two factors accounted for almost two-thirds of the variation in VDB between residents. One-to-one attention, engaging in conversation, redirecting behaviour, and use of psychotropic medication were reported by nurses as the most useful interventions. Analgesics were the medications most commonly used (65.7%) followed by quetiapine (62.9%), and these were reportedly effective in 82.6% and 77.2% of residents respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>VDB is common, challenging, and difficult to manage. The study of VDB is limited by a variety of factors that both contribute to this behaviour and make its treatment challenging. Issues relating to capacity and ethics make it difficult to conduct randomised controlled trials of treatments for VDB in the population affected.
Ir J Psychol Med (Irish journal of psychological medicine)
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