Clinical diagnosis of dementia, not presence of behavioral and psychological symptoms, is associated with psychotropic use in community-dwelling elders classified as having dementia

Ding Cheng Chan, Judith D. Kasper, Betty S. Black, Peter V. Rabins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of psychotropic use in community-dwelling elders with dementia. Baseline data from 285 community-dwelling elders with a research classification of dementia (based on a neuropsychological battery of 4 tests) and their knowledgeable informants enrolled in the observational Memory and Medical Care Study were analyzed. A total of 33.3% of subjects with a research classification of dementia were clinically diagnosed, 28.8% used at least 1 psychotropic drug, and 61.8% had at least 1 behavioral or psychological symptom of dementia (BPSD). Presence of BPSD was associated with a higher likelihood of a clinical diagnosis of dementia. Multivariate logistic regression showed a clinical diagnosis of dementia, not BPSD, was associated with psychotropic use; clinical recognition of dementia appears to be an intermediate step between presence of BPSD and prescription of psychotropics. In addition, most community-dwelling elders meeting the research criteria for dementia were not clinically diagnosed, despite contact with a physician (89%) in the previous year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Keywords

  • Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • Community diagnosis
  • Dementia
  • Elderly
  • Psychotropic drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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