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Int Psychogeriatr. 1997 Dec;9(4):405-22.

Efficacy of psychosocial treatments for noisemaking in severe dementia.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Noisemaking is one of the most disturbing behavior disorders associated with dementia. Standard management practices, including pharmacological interventions, are not very successful in treating the behavior. Very little research has been carried out to evaluate innovative treatments or to determine the etiology of noisemaking. In this article, we report on a series of 12 case studies in which we tested the efficacy of some psychosocial interventions in reducing the frequency of noisemaking in long-term-care residents with severe dementia. Interventions were contingent reinforcement of quiet behavior and environmental stimulation tailored to individual preferences. Of the 12 patients recruited into the study, 2 died during the course of observations, 3 were not observed to be as noisy as reported by staff, and 3 showed a clear reduction in noise during the intervention period. Four patients did not show any overall reduction in noisemaking during psychosocial interventions. Future research could differentiate between types of interventions in successful cases and attempt to control further for the consistent application of interventions by long-term-care staff.

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