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J Neurosci Nurs. 1999 Oct;31(5):278-84.

The relation of premorbid factors to aggressive physical behavior in dementia.

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Department of Adult Nursing, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912-4210, USA.


Aggressive physical behaviour (APB) is common in persons with dementia and often leads to negative consequences such as use of restraints and staff member burnout. For the past several years, a group of nurse researchers has collaborated to develop a model that views dementia behaviors as need-driven but dementia-compromised. The model posits that background variables of the demented person interact with proximal (or current situational) variables to produce APB. The purpose of this study was to test a part of that model by addressing the question: Which premorbid factors predict APB in a sample of 84 demented institutionalized elders? This was a cross-sectional descriptive study that obtained measures of the following characteristics of residents: (1) aggressive behavior as assessed by nursing home staff members using the Ryden Aggression Scale, (2) premorbid personality traits as assessed by a member of the resident's family using the NEO Five Factor Inventory and (3) history of psychosocial stress as assessed by a member of the residents' family using the modified Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Of the sample of 84 residents, 44% exhibited physical aggression. Background factors in the model were not predictive of aggressive behavior in late-stage dementia, although the relation between premorbid neuroticism and physical aggression was in the predicted direction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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