Constant Observation Practices for Hospitalized Persons With Dementia: A Survey Study

Liron Sinvani, Andrew Strunk, Vidhi Patel, Shalin Shah, Colm Mulvany, Andrzej Kozikowski, Marie Boltz, Renee Pekmezaris, Gisele Wolf-Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite substantial staffing and cost implications, the use of constant observation (CO) has been poorly described in the acute care setting. The purpose of this cross-sectional, multicenter, survey study was to assess hospital provider practices regarding the use of CO. Of the 543 surveys distributed, 231 were completed across 5 sites. Most respondents worked on medical units (67.5%), as nurses (49.1%); 44.8% were white; and 75.6% were female. The majority (84.2%) reported at least 1 patient/wk requiring CO. Most frequent indication for CO was dementia with agitation (60.7%), in patients older than 70 (62.3%) and predominantly by nurse assistants (93.9%). Almost half (47.3%) stated they felt pressured to discontinue CO, despite a strong perceived benefit (76%). Enhanced observation (92.6%) was most frequently used to decrease CO. Finally, 77.9% perceived that those performing CO lacked training. Our study highlights the widespread use of CO for hospitalized older adults with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Neuroscience


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