Design Of Two Studies On Non-Pharmacological Interventions To Reduce Agitated Behaviours In Persons With Dementia (Forum 2009)

Published

25-09-2009

Researchers

van der Ploeg, Eva
O'Connor, Prof Daniel

Citation

Design Of Two Studies On Non-Pharmacological Interventions To Reduce Agitated Behaviours In Persons With Dementia van der Ploeg E1, Eppingstall B1, Griffith J1, O’Connor D1 1Monash University, Cheltenham, VIC Background The agitated behaviours that accompany dementia (e.g. pacing, aggression, calling out) are stressful to both nursing home residents and their carers and are difficult to treat. Behaviours stemming from pain, major depression or psychosis benefit from treatment with analgesics, antidepressants or antipsychotics. Although psychotropic medications are used very widely, they have limited efficacy. The aim of our two studies is to test if two non-pharmacological interventions reduce the frequency of behavioural symptoms of dementia significantly more than relevant control conditions. Methods We will conduct two controlled trials with randomised cross-over between conditions. Persons aged 65 and over with moderate to severe dementia and associated behavioural problems living in aged care facilities will be included in both studies. In the Montessori study individualized, goal-directed activities will be compared with a relevant (attention) control condition. In the Lavender study application of pure, high-strength Lavender oil will be compared with the application of placebo oil. Residents will be observed before, during and after interventions. Results Results will compare the occurrence of target behaviours as level of engagement and type of affect for residents receiving either Montessori activities or lavender oil compared to those in the control conditions. Conclusions If our results show that use of either Montessori activities or Lavender oil is effective in treating challenging behaviours in individuals with dementia, it will potentially provide a safer and more enjoyable intervention rather than reliance on pharmacology alone.