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Aging Ment Health. 2010 Apr;14(3):303-9. doi: 10.1080/13607860903167879.

Predictors of need-driven behaviors in nursing home residents with dementia and associated certified nursing assistant burden.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama, Box 870348, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0348, USA.



We examined predictors of staff-reported need-driven behaviors and resistiveness to care in nursing home residents with dementia and predictors of certified nursing assistant (CNA) burden related to both constructs. Background and proximal factors from the need-driven dementia-compromised behavior model [Algase, D.L., Beck, C., Kolanowski, A., Whall, A., Berent, S., Richards, K., et al. (1996). Need-driven dementia-compromised behavior: An alternative view of disruptive behavior. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 5, 10-19] were examined as potential predictors of need-driven behaviors (NDBs) and resistiveness to care and CNA burden.


We used secondary data analysis of prospective data from 10 nursing homes in Birmingham, Alabama. One-hundred and sixty-one residents (83.43 +/- 8.56 years) with mini mental state examination (MMSE) score = 6.41 (+/- 6.66) were assessed via chart review, resident surveys, and surveys of CNAs.


Multiple regression models revealed that cognitive functioning, activities of daily living functioning, race, gender, and CNA-reported weekly resident pain intensity were associated with resident NDBs. Regression models also revealed that weekly pain intensity and medical comorbidity were associated with CNA burden associated with the resident NDBs. However, we were unable to explain a significant amount of variance in the resistiveness to care or CNA burden associated with resistiveness to care.


Results underscore the role of pain in both resident NDBs and associated CNA burden. Future research should focus on predictors of resident resistiveness to care and the relation of pain assessment and management practices to CNA burden. Moreover, interventions to improve resident care should seek to include CNAs in institutional pain assessment and management processes.

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