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Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2003 Fall;17(3):241-56.

Comparison of U.S., Canadian, and Australian participants' performance on the Algase Wandering Scale-Version 2 (AWS-V2).

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Although wandering in dementia is seen in various cultures, cross-cultural comparisons have not been reported. We examined wandering in residents of long-term care settings (LTCs) in three English-speaking countries (n = 96, America; n = 42, Canada; n = 13, Australia) using the Algase Wandering Scale-Version 2 (AWS-V2). Participants differed by country on age and medical diagnosis. The Americans were significantly older; the Canadians had a greater rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In one-way ANOVAs, AWS-V2 ratings from nurse aides revealed significant differences in the AWS-V2 and three subscales (spatial disorientation, attention shifting, eloping behavior), but not for two others (persistent walking, shadowing). Where significant, Canadians had consistently lower ratings than others. Post-hoc analyses by age of participants failed to reveal significant differences. However, participants with AD had significantly lower AWS-V2 scores than those with mixed-type dementia. Lower MMSE score predicted higher AWS-V2, spatial disorientation, and eloping behavior. Post-hoc analyses of respondent characteristics revealed no significant differences on AWS-V2 or subscales by frequency of attending dementia classes and level of experience with dementia. Thus the nature of wandering in these three countries is not substantially different. However, variations in care environments may contribute to differences in attention shifting. Further, limited sample size, particularly among Australians and Canadians, make findings tentative.

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