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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Mar;33(3):504-509. doi: 10.1002/gps.4786. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Relationship between speaking English as a second language and agitation in people with dementia living in care homes: Results from the MARQUE (Managing Agitation and Raising Quality of life) English national care home survey.

Author information

1
UCL Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, London, UK.
2
North Thames CLAHRC, London, UK.
3
UCL Department of Statistical Science, Gower Street, London, UK.
4
UCL Department of Primary Care and Population Health and Priment Clinical Trials Unit, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

As not speaking English as a first language may lead to increased difficulties in communication with staff and other residents, we (1) tested our primary hypotheses that care home residents with dementia speaking English as a second language experience more agitation and overall neuropsychiatric symptoms, and (2) explored qualitatively how staff consider that residents' language, ethnicity, and culture might impact on how they manage agitation.

METHODS:

We interviewed staff, residents with dementia, and their family carers from 86 care homes (2014-2015) about resident's neuropsychiatric symptoms, agitation, life quality, and dementia severity. We qualitatively interviewed 25 staff.

RESULTS:

Seventy-one out of 1420 (5%) of care home residents with dementia interviewed spoke English as a second language. After controlling for dementia severity, age, and sex, and accounting for care home and staff proxy clustering, speaking English as a second language compared with as a first language was associated with significantly higher Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (adjusted difference in means 8.3, 95% confidence interval 4.1 to 12.5) and Neuropsychiatric inventory scores (4.1, 0.65 to 7.5). Staff narratives described how linguistic and culturally isolating being in a care home where no residents or staff share your culture or language could be for people with dementia, and how this sometimes caused or worsened agitation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Considering a person with dementia's need to be understood when selecting a care home and developing technology resources to enable dementia-friendly translation services could be important strategies for reducing distress of people with dementia from minority ethnic groups who live in care homes.

KEYWORDS:

agitation; care home; dementia

PMID:
28971511
PMCID:
PMC5836957
DOI:
10.1002/gps.4786
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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