Reducing Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in Acutely Ill Patients via Patient Engagement Specialists: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Liron Sinvani, Andrew Strunk, Suzanne Ardito, Samantha Gordon, Yan Liu, Emily Schantz, Asma Arroon, Anum Ilyas, Valeria Gromova, Ashley Polokowski, Jessy Levin, Alex Makhnevich, Stefani D’Angelo, Marie Boltz

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Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are common in hospitalized persons living with dementia (PLWD). This pilot aimed to test the feasibility of an innovative model of care, PES-4-BPSD (a dementia unit staffed with Patient Engagement Specialists, PES). Non-randomized pilot feasibility trial was conducted, enrolling N = 158 patients to the intervention unit (n = 79, a 10-bed dementia unit, staffed with nursing assistants, NAs, with mental health backgrounds, PES) and an enhanced control unit (n = 79, 40-bed medicine unit, staffed with NAs). All NAs/PES (N = 63) received dementia training, with completion rate of 82.5%. Overall, patients had ~1 NPI-Q (Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire) assessment/48 hr. 97% (n = 153) of PLWD exhibited at least one behavior. Average NPI-Q scores did not differ across intervention (5.36) and control (3.87) units (p =.23). Patients on the intervention unit had 88% (p =.002) shorter duration of constant observation. A dementia care unit staffed by PES is an innovative model requiring further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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