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Br J Community Nurs. 2011 Sep;16(9):441-9.

Non-pharmacological management of behavioural symptoms of dementia.

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Black Country Partnerships NHS Trust .


This article describes a 6-month pilot project in which a community mental health team provided a dementia inreach service into 4 care homes in Birmingham, UK. The project included analysis of the impact of the service at the end of the project as well as a literature review of dementia care in care homes, and especially the issue of antipsychotic medication use and non-pharmacological approaches in managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). The project included training care home staff in the management of BPSD; 2 questionnaires distributed at the beginning of the project found that 65% of care home staff felt a need for education and awareness, practical problem-solving and counselling in managing BPSD. Self-reported knowledge of common mental health problems and dementia increased in care home staff at the end of the project by a margin of 7% and 11% respectively. Reported confidence in managing behavioural problems increased by 9% among care home staff at the end of the project. The project achieved regular monitoring of psychotropic medications, and enabled the discharge of 14 out of 63 existing patients in the selected homes. The project also provided guidance for non-pharmacological techniques for management of BPSD, which included relaxation techniques, distraction techniques, reality orientation, reminiscence work, needs led therapy, music therapy, person-centred approach and behaviour therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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