Journal of multidiciplinary healthcare, 2020
Community Health Care Workers’ Experiences on Enacting Policy on Technology with Citizens with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
Purpose: Assistive technologies and digitalization of services are promoted through health policy as key means to manage community care obligations efficiently, and to enable older community care recipients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia (D) to remain at home for longer. The overall aim of this paper is to explore how community health care workers enacted current policy on technology with home-dwelling citizens with MCI/D.
Participants and Methods: Twenty-four community health care workers participated in one of five focus group discussions that explored their experiences and current practices with technologies for citizens with MCI/D. Five researchers took part in the focus groups, while six researchers collaboratively conducted an inductive, thematic analysis according to Braun & Clarke.
Results: Two main themes with sub-themes were identified: 1) Current and future potentials of technology; i) frequently used technology, ii) cost-effectiveness and iii) “be there” for social contact and 2) Barriers to implement technologies; i) unsystematic approaches and contested responsibility, ii) knowledge and training and iii) technology in relation to user-friendliness and citizen capacities.Conclusion: This study revealed the complexity of implementing policy aims regarding technology provision for citizens with MCI/D. By use of Lipsky’s theory on street-level bureaucracy, we shed light on how community health care workers were situated between policies and the everyday lives of citizens with MCI/D, and how their perceived lack of knowledge and practical experiences influenced their exercise of professional discretion in enacting policy on technology in community health care services. Overall, addressing systematic technology approaches was not part of routine care, which may contribute to inequities in provision of technologies to enhance occupational possibilities and meaningful activities in everyday lives of citizens with MCI/D.
BJPsych Open, 2020
Elderly patients with no previous psychiatric history: suicidality and other factors relating to psychiatric acute admissions
BackgroundThe common recommendation that adults with onset of mental illness after the age of 65 should receive specialised psychogeriatric treatment is based on limited evidence.
AimsTo compare factors related to psychiatric acute admission in older adults who have no previous psychiatric history (NPH) with that of those who have a previous psychiatric history (PPH).
MethodCross-sectional cohort study of 918 patients aged ≥65 years consecutively admitted to a general adult psychiatric acute unit from 2005 to 2014.
ResultsPatients in the NPH group (n = 526) were significantly older than those in the PPH group (n = 391) (77.6 v. 70.9 years P < 0.001), more likely to be men, married or widowed and admitted involuntarily. Diagnostic prevalence in the NPH and PPH groups were 49.0% v. 8.4% (P < 0.001) for organic mental disorders, 14.6% v. 30.4% (P < 0.001) for psychotic disorders, 30.2% v. 55.5% (P < 0.001) for affective disorders and 20.7% v. 13.3% (P = 0.003) for somatic disorders. The NPH group scored significantly higher on the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS) items agitated behaviour; cognitive problems; physical illness or disability and problems with activities of daily living, whereas those in the PPH group scored significantly higher on depressed mood. Although the PPH group were more likely to report suicidal ideation, those in the NPH group were more likely to have made a suicide attempt before the admission.
ConclusionsAmong psychiatric patients >65 years, the subgroup with NPH were characterised by more physical frailty, somatic comorbidity and functional and cognitive impairment as well as higher rates of preadmission suicide attempts. Admitting facilities should be appropriately suited to manage their needs.
The journals of gerontology, 2020
The effects of tau, amyloid and white matter lesions on mobility, dual tasking and balance in older people
This study aimed to investigate whether white matter lesions (WML), β-amyloid- and tau pathologies are independently associated with mobility, dual tasking and dynamic balance performance in older non-demented individuals.
We included 299 older people (mean, SD, age: 71.8, 5.6 years) from the Swedish BioFINDER study, whereof 175 were cognitively unimpaired and 124 had mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In multivariable regression analyses, dependent variables included mobility (Timed Up & Go, TUG), dual tasking (TUG with a simultaneous subtraction task, i.e. TUG-Cog, as well as dual task cost), and balance (Figure-of-eight). The analyses were controlled for age, sex, education, diagnosis (i.e. MCI) and comorbidity (stroke, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease). Independent variables included WML volume, and measures of β-amyloid (abnormal CSF Aβ42/40 ratio) and tau pathology (CSF phosphorylated tau, p-tau).
Multivariable regression analyses showed that an increased WML volume was independently associated with decreased mobility, i.e. TUG (standardized β=0.247; p<0.001). Tau pathology was independently associated with dual tasking both when using the raw data of TUG-Cog (β=0.224; p=0.003) and the dual task cost (β= -0.246; p=0.001). Amyloid pathology was associated with decreased balance, i.e. Figure-of-eight (β= 0.172; p=0.028). The independent effects of WML and tau pathology were mainly observed in those with MCI, which was not the case for the effects of amyloid pathology on balance.
Common brain pathologies have different effects where WML are independently associated with mobility, tau pathology has the strongest effect on dual tasking and amyloid pathology seems to be independently associated with balance. Although these novel findings need to be confirmed in longitudinal studies, they suggest that different brain pathologies have different effects on mobility, balance and dual tasking in older non-demented individuals.
Journal of occupational science, 2020
A critical occupational perspective on user engagement of older adults in an assisted living facility in technology research over three years
Digital assistive technology has potential for supporting older adults who depend upon community healthcare services. To boost the efficiency of those services, technological devices are often installed for care recipients as part of governed practice. However, the varying adoption of technology risks widening the digital divide. In response, the Assisted Living project engaged older adults in co-creating knowledge about users’ needs, to guide the development of technological solutions designed to support everyday living. This study sought to investigate how eight older adults in an assisted living facility in Norway, aged 81–92 years, evaluated user inclusion in a 3-year technology-oriented research project. Individual interviews, dialogue cafés, interventions with environmental sensors, and a final focus group discussion constituted sites for co-creation of knowledge. Participants’ answers to standardised questionnaires and statements during dialogue café meetings were collated into tables and the focus group discussion was thematically analyzed, with three themes identified: motivation for project engagement, experiencing and understanding participation in the project, and mixed feelings towards environmental sensors at home. The project revealed that older adults with impairments could nevertheless meaningfully contribute opinions about their needs. Applying a critical occupational perspective raised awareness regarding sociocultural assumptions about older adults in assisted living as frail and unable to participate, which may reinforce ageist and ableist stereotypes, as well as promote occupational injustice.
Nordic Journal of psychiatry, 2020
Background: Milieu therapy (MT) is an important interprofessional part of therapy for persons with late-life anxiety and depression in psychogeriatric inpatient units. Research on how this is conducted is scarce.
Aim: To explore nurses’ and nurse assistants’ experience regarding MT interventions for persons with late-life anxiety and depression and how this is applied and conducted in the everyday life in a psychogeriatric inpatient unit.
Method: Four focus group interviews with nurses and nurse assistants were conducted. Systematic text condensation was used for analyzing and interpreting the data.
Results: MT was described as a dynamic and active process. Conscious individualized cooperation and communication day and night emerged as overarching theme, with following categories: 1. Collecting clues about the patient’s history, challenges and coping strategies. 2. Active use of these clues. 3. Active use of the ward setting as arena for staff to learn from each other, for patients to learn from other patients and as frame for MT in general. Strategies from both psychiatric and dementia care were used in MT interventions.
Conclusion: Results from this study describe content and complexity of MT strategies that can be supportive in everyday practice in psychogeriatric inpatient units and nursing homes, and have the potential to facilitate teaching, supervision and counseling of health professionals, caregivers and patients
Tidsskriftet den norske legeforening, 2020
Skrøpelige eldre med multisykdom har høy risiko for alvorlig sykdom og død ved smitte med koronavirus. Til forskjell fra «vanlig død» på sykehjem der det er tid til forberedelser, kan tilstanden endre seg raskt og gi organsvikt. I denne artikkelen beskriver vi lindrende ikke-invasive og invasive tiltak for skrøpelige eldre på sykehjem som er døende på grunn av covid-19.
Scandinavian journal of primary health care, 2020
Characteristics of patients assessed for cognitive decline in primary healthcare, compared to patients assessed in specialist healthcare
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe patients assessed for cognitive decline in primary healthcare, compared to patients assessed in specialist healthcare and to examine factors associated with depression.Design: This was an observational study.Setting: Fourteen outpatient clinics and 33 general practitioners and municipality memory teams across Norway.Subjects: A total of 226 patients assessed in primary healthcare and 1595 patients assessed in specialist healthcare outpatient clinics.Main outcome measures: Cornell scale for depression in dementia (CSDD), Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Clock drawing test, Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Personal Self-Maintenance Scale, Relatives’ stress scale (RSS), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q)Results: Patients assessed in primary healthcare were older (mean age 81.3 vs 73.0 years), less educated, had poorer cognition (MMSE median 22 vs 25), more limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), more behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), more depressive symptoms (CSDD median 7 vs 5), more often lived alone (60% vs 41%) and were more often diagnosed with dementia (86% vs 47%) compared to patients diagnosed in specialist healthcare. Depression was associated with female gender, older age, more severe decline in cognitive functioning (IQCODE, OR 1.65), higher caregiver burden (RSS, OR 1.10) and with being assessed in primary healthcare (OR 1.53).Conclusion: Post-diagnostic support tailored to patients diagnosed with dementia in primary healthcare should consider their poor cognitive function and limitations in ADL and that these people often live alone, have BPSD and depression.
Frontiers in Psychology, 2018
The Effect of Blood Pressure on Cognitive Performance. An 8-Year Follow-Up of the Tromsø Study, Comprising People Aged 45–74 Years
Background: The relationship between blood pressure (BP) and cognition is complex were age appears to be an intervening variable. High and low BP have been associated with cognitive deficits as part of the aging process, but more studies are needed, especially in more recent birth cohorts.Methods: The study sample comprised 4,465 participants, with BP measured at baseline in the Tromsø Study, Wave 6 in 2007–2008 (T0), and cognition assessed at follow-up 8 years later, in 2015–2016 in Tromsø Study 7 (T1). Age at T0 was 45–74 years, and at T1 it was 53–82 years. Cognition was assessed with three tests: The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Digit Symbol Test, and the Twelve-word Test. The associations between BP and cognition were examined specifically for age and sex using linear regression analysis adjusted for baseline BP medication use, education and body mass index (kg/m2).Results: BP was associated with cognition at the 8-year follow-up, but the association differed according to age and sex. In men, higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at a young age (45–55 years of age) was associated with poorer cognition; the association was reversed at older ages, especially for those above 65 years of age. In women, the associations were generally weaker than for men, and sometimes in the opposite direction: For women, a higher SBP was associated with better cognition at a younger age and higher SBP poorer cognition at older ages – perhaps due to an age delay in women compared to men. Digit Symbol Test results correlated best with BP in a three-way interaction: BP by age by sex was significant for both SBP (p = 0.005) and DBP (p = 0.005).Conclusion: Increased SBP and DBP at the younger age was clearly associated with poorer cognitive function in men 8 years later; in women the associations were weaker and sometimes in the opposite direction. Our findings clearly indicate that interactions between age and sex related to BP can predict cognitive performance over time. Men and women have different age trajectories regarding the influence of BP on cognition.
Multivariate Behavioral Research, 2020
The Truth behind the Zeros: A New Approach to Principal Component Analysis of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory
Psychiatric syndromes in dementia are often derived from the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) using principal component analysis (PCA). The validity of this statistical approach can be questioned, since the excessive proportion of zeros and skewness of NPI items may distort the estimated relations between the items. We propose a novel version of PCA, ZIBPPCA, where a zero-inflated bivariate Poisson (ZIBP) distribution models the pairwise covariance between the NPI items. We compared the performance of the method to classical PCA under zero-inflation using simulations, and in two dementia-cohorts (N¼830, N¼1349).Simulations showed that component loadings from PCA were biased due to zero-inflation, while the loadings of ZIBP-PCA remained unaffected. ZIBP-PCA obtained a simpler component structure of “psychosis,” “mood” and “agitation” in both dementia-cohorts, compared to PCA. The principal components from ZIBP-PCA had component loadings as follows: First, the component interpreted as “psychosis” was loaded by the items delusions and hallucinations. Second, the “mood” component was loaded by depression and anxiety. Finally, the “agitation” component was loaded by irritability and aggression. In conclusion, PCA is not equipped to handle zero-inflation. Using the NPI, PCA fails to identify components with a valid interpretation, while ZIBP-PCA estimates simple and interpretable components to characterize the psychopathology of dementia.