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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1998 Sep;53(5):P294-9.

Wandering: a significant problem among community-residing individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

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This study evaluated the frequency, predictors, and effects of wandering in a population-based sample of 193 individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although wandering occurred in subjects at all levels of cognitive impairment, analysis of variance indicated that for the group as a whole, greater frequency of wandering was associated with significantly more impairment in cognition, day-to-day functioning, and behavior. Caregiver distress also increased significantly with increased frequency of wandering. Logistic regression modeling identified functional impairment and disruptive behavior problems as the strongest independent predictors of wandering occurring within the past week. Cluster analysis revealed four characteristic groups of wanderers that represented a continuum of wandering frequency, each having a unique pattern of other behavioral disturbances. Based on this analysis, we recommend further evaluation and the development of possible treatment strategies that address the individual differences found among AD patients who wander.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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