Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Inappropriate Behaviors in Dementia: A Review, Summary, and Critique

by Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Ph.D., Focus 2:288-308 (2004), © 2004 American Psychiatric Association. Recognizes that “Inappropriate behaviors are very common in dementia and impose an enormous toll both emotionally and financially.” Discusses three theoretical models to understand the causes of such behaviors – an “unmet needs” model, a behavioral/learning model, and an environmental vulnerability/reduced stress-threshold model. Then reviews 83 studies that have been done, finding helpfulness in managing such behaviors through non-phamacological means, including sensory, social contact (real or simulated), behavior therapy, staff training, structured activities, environmental interventions, medical/nursing care interventions, and combination therapies.

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