BMC Health Services Research
Pain and quality of life in nursing home residents with dementia after admission – a longitudinal study
Pain in nursing home (NH) residents with dementia is commonly reported and may affect Quality of Life (QoL) negatively. Few longitudinal studies have explored how pain and QoL develop in NH residents with dementia starting from their admission to the NH.
The aim was to explore pain, QoL, and the association between pain and QoL over time in persons with dementia admitted to a NH.
A convenience sample, drawn from 68 non-profit NHs, included a total of 996 Norwegian NH residents with dementia (mean age 84.5 years, SD 7.6, 36.1% men) at NH admission (A1), with annual follow-ups for two years (A2 and A3). Pain and QoL were assessed using the Mobilization-Observation-Behavior-Intensity-Dementia-2 (MOBID-2) Pain Scale and the Quality of Life in Late-Stage Dementia (QUALID) scale, respectively, at all assessments. Severity of dementia, personal level of activities of daily living, general medical health, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the prescription of psychotropic drugs and analgesics (opioids and/or paracetamol) were also assessed at all assessments.
Mean (SD) MOBID-2 pain intensity scores were 2.1 (2.1), 2.2 (2.2), and 2.4 (2.1) at A1, A2, and A3, respectively. Participants who were prescribed analgesics had higher pain intensity scores at all assessments than participants not prescribed analgesics. The mean (SD) QUALID scores at each assessment were 19.8 (7.1), 20.8 (7.2), and 22.1 (7.5) at A1, A2, and A3, respectively. In the adjusted linear mixed model, higher pain intensity score, prescription of opioids, and prescription of paracetamol were associated with poorer QoL (higher QUALID total score and higher scores in the QoL dimensions of sadness and tension) when assessed simultaneously. No time trend in QoL was found in these adjusted analyses.
NH residents with dementia who have higher pain intensity scores or are prescribed analgesics are more likely to have poorer QoL. Clinicians, NH administrators, and national healthcare authorities need to look into strategies and actions for pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain treatment to reduce pain intensity while simultaneously avoiding negative side effects of pain treatment that hamper QoL.
Biological Psychiatry, 2023
Beyond the Global Brain Differences: Intra-individual Variability Differences in 1q21.1 Distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 Deletion Carriers
Background: The 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs exhibit regional and global brain differences compared to non-carriers. However, interpreting regional differences is challenging if a global difference drives the regional brain differences. Intra-individual variability measures can be used to test for regional differences beyond global differences in brain structure.
Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging data were used to obtain regional brain values for 1q21.1 distal deletion (n=30) and duplication (n=27), and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion (n=170) and duplication (n=243) carriers and matched non-carriers (n=2,350). Regional intra-deviation (RID) scores i.e., the standardized difference between an individual’s regional difference and global difference, were used to test for regional differences that diverge from the global difference.
Results: For the 1q21.1 distal deletion carriers, cortical surface area for regions in the medial visual cortex, posterior cingulate and temporal pole differed less, and regions in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical surface area. For the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion carriers, cortical thickness in regions in the medial visual cortex, auditory cortex and temporal pole differed less, and the prefrontal and somatosensory cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical thickness.
Conclusion: We find evidence for regional effects beyond differences in global brain measures in 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs. The results provide new insight into brain profiling of the 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs, with the potential to increase our understanding of mechanisms involved in altered neurodevelopment.
Scientifc Reports, 2023
Diagnostic accuracy of brain age prediction in a memory clinic population and comparison with clinically available volumetric measures
The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic validity of a deep learning-based method estimating brain age based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to compare it with volumetrics obtained using NeuroQuant (NQ) in a clinical cohort. Brain age prediction was performed on minimally processed MRI data using deep convolutional neural networks and an independent training set. The brain age gap (difference between chronological and biological age) was calculated, and volumetrics were performed in 110 patients with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and dementia with Lewy bodies), and 122 with non-dementia (subjective and mild cognitive impairment). Area-under-the-curve (AUC) based on receiver operating characteristics and logistic regression analyses were performed. The mean age was 67.1 (9.5) years and 48.7% (113) were females. The dementia versus non-dementia sensitivity and specificity of the volumetric measures exceeded 80% and yielded higher AUCs compared to BAG. The explained variance of the prediction of diagnostic stage increased when BAG was added to the volumetrics. Further, BAG separated patients with FTD from other dementia etiologies with > 80% sensitivity and specificity. NQ volumetrics outperformed BAG in terms of diagnostic discriminatory power but the two methods provided complementary information, and BAG discriminated FTD from other dementia etiologies.
The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, 2023
Trajectories of occupational physical activity and risk of later-life mild cognitive impairment and dementia: the HUNT4 70+ study
Background: High levels of occupational physical activity (PA) have been linked to an increased risk of dementia. We assessed the association of trajectories of occupational PA at ages 33–65 with risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at ages 70+.
Methods: We included 7005 participants (49.8% were women, 3488/7005) from the HUNT4 70+ Study. Group-based trajectory modelling was used to identify four trajectories of occupational PA based on national registry data from 1960 to 2014: stable low (30.9%, 2162/7005), increasing then decreasing (8.9%, 625/7005), stable intermediate (25.1%, 1755/7005), and stable high (35.2%, 2463/7005). Dementia and MCI were clinically assessed in 2017–2019. We performed adjusted multinomial regression to estimate relative risk ratios (RRR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for dementia and MCI.
Findings: 902 participants were diagnosed with dementia and 2407 were diagnosed with MCI. Absolute unadjusted risks for dementia and MCI were 8.8% (95% CI: 7.6–10.0) and 27.4% (25.5–29.3), respectively, for those with a stable low PA trajectory, 8.2% (6.0–10.4) and 33.3% (29.6–37.0) for those with increasing, then decreasing PA; while they were 16.0% (14.3–17.7) and 35% (32.8–37.2) for those with stable intermediate, and 15.4% (14.0–16.8) and 40.2% (38.3–42.1) for those with stable high PA trajectories. In the adjusted model, participants with a stable high trajectory had a higher risk of dementia (RRR 1.34, 1.04–1.73) and MCI (1.80, 1.54–2.11), whereas participants with a stable intermediate trajectory had a higher risk of MCI (1.36, 1.15–1.61) compared to the stable low trajectory. While not statistically significant, participants with increasing then decreasing occupational PA had a 24% lower risk of dementia and 18% higher risk of MCI than the stable low PA group.
Interpretation: Consistently working in an occupation with intermediate or high occupational PA was linked to an increased risk of cognitive impairment, indicating the importance of developing strategies for individuals in physically demanding occupations to prevent cognitive impairment.
Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 2023
Background: Malnutrition is common in older adults and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates.
Aim: The aim of the study is to describe the prevalence of malnutrition based on low BMI, involuntary weight loss, and reduced food intake, in a Norwegian population of community-dwelling older adults and older adults living in nursing homes.
Methods: This population-based study is part of the fourth wave of the Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT4) and includes participants ≥70 years from the HUNT4 70+ cohort. The HUNT4 70+ cohort consist of 9 930 (response rate 51.2 %) participants. In the current study 8 127 older people had complete dataset for inclusion in the analyses. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire and standardised interviews and clinical assessments at field stations, in participants’ homes or at nursing homes. Malnutrition was defined using the following criteria: low BMI, involuntary weight loss and severely reduced food intake. The standardised prevalence of malnutrition was estimated using inverse probability weighting (IPW) with weights for sex, age and education of the total population in the catchment area of HUNT.
Results: Of the 8 127 included participants, 7 671 (94.4 %) met at field stations, 356 (4.4 %) were examined in their home, and 100 (1.2 %) in nursing homes. In total, 14.3 % of the population were malnourished based on either low BMI, weight loss, or reduced food intake, of which low BMI was the most frequently fulfilled criterion. The prevalence of malnutrition was less common among men than among women (10.1 vs 18.0 %, p < 0.001), also after adjustment for age (OR 0.53, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.46-0.60). The prevalence increased gradually with increasing age and the regression analysis adjusted for sex showed that for each year increase in age the prevalence of malnutrition increased with 4.0 % (OR 1.04, 95 % CI 1.03-1.05). The prevalence was higher both among older adults examined in their homes (26.4%) and residents in nursing home (23.6%), as compared to community-dwelling older adults who met at field stations (13.5%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of malnutrition is high in the older population. Special attention on prevention and treatment of malnutrition should be given to older women, the oldest age groups, and care-dependent community-dwelling older adults and nursing home residents.
Preventive Medicine, 2023
The aging population and increasing evidence of the detrimental health impacts of loneliness emphasize the importance of studying and predicting changes in loneliness prevalence among older adults. To understand and project changes in loneliness over time, we examined 35-year trends in adults aged 70 and older, considering factors such as sex, age, and living situation. Cross-sectional data from 27,032 home-dwelling adults aged 70 years and older who participated in at least one of the four Norwegian HUNT surveys from 1984 to 2019, and Norwegian population data from Statistics Norway were used for the analyses. Loneliness was self-reported, and the prevalence of loneliness was standardized to the Norwegian population at the survey year by age and sex. The results showed that the prevalence of loneliness significantly decreased between each survey. The higher categories of loneliness (a good amount, very much) decreased, from 11.4% (1995-97), 6.7% (2006-08), and 5.8% (2017-19). Across surveys, loneliness was significantly more common among women, the oldest, and those living alone. The prevalence of loneliness among the oldest adults living alone increased from 2006 to 2019. The gradual decline in loneliness observed from 1995 to 2019 coincided with notable societal changes in Norway. We estimated that the number of older adults experiencing loneliness in Norway could rise from 184,000 in 2020 to 286,000 in 2035, and potentially reach 380,000 in 2050.
International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 2023
Gender Differences in Loneliness Over Time: A 15-Year Longitudinal Study of Men and Women in the Second Part of Life
Evidence suggests that in old age, women are lonelier than men. Gender differences in loneliness are often explained by gender differences in longevity, social status and loss, health, and mobility-well-established predictors that may influence loneliness differently in “younger” (40-59 years) and “older” (60-80 years) groups of men and women in the second part of life. This study explores loneliness in men and women ages 40 to 80 years at baseline over a 15-year period using panel data from three waves of the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing and Generation Study (N = 2,315). Our analyses show that women were more lonely than men also in adjusted analyses. Logistic regression analyses indicated that loss of a partner and poor mental health are prospectively related to loneliness among men and women, whereas other factors like becoming a partner, stable singlehood, and poor physical health were related to loneliness among women but not men.
Aging & Mental Health, 2023
Background: Studies on disease-related obstructions experienced in everyday life of younger people with dementia (YOD ≤ 65 years) and their families are encouraged.Aim: To explore how the family carers experience six predefined topics that influence the everyday life and needs of persons with YOD.
Method: A quantitative and a qualitative study including family carers of persons with young-onset Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Seventy-four informants responded to the Camberwell Assessment of Needs in the Elderly (CANE) and individual interviews were conducted with 13 informants.
Results: Family carers of persons with YOD reported few unmet needs in the CANE assessment. Needs related to behavior and close relationships were reported significantly more frequent (p < 0.1) in persons with FTD than in persons with AD. From the qualitative data, six main themes were emphasized: daily activities turned upside down, involuntary loss of previous social network, losing close relationship, but maintaining a friendship with the spouse, unpredictable behavior adds burdens to a changing life, health and life risks, and economic insecurity for future life and caring costs.
Conclusion: Whilst family carers quantitatively reported unmet needs, the individual interviews reported several major difficulties in everyday life.
European Journal of Midwifer, 2023
Opening Pandora’s box: A meta-ethnography about alcohol use in pregnancy from midwives’ and other healthcare providers’ perspectives
Alcohol consumption has increased in recent years, including among women of childbearing age. A woman’s alcohol intake during pregnancy is linked to complications and injuries in the newborn, and the risk of the child being harmed by the mother’s alcohol use increases in proportion to the amount of alcohol she consumes. This meta-ethnography aims to explore midwives’ and other healthcare providers’ experiences of screening pregnant women for alcohol use in pregnancy and counselling them on the subject.
A systematic literature search in CINAHL, Maternity & Infant Care, MEDLINE, and Scopus was conducted in August 2021 and updated in January 2023. The CASP checklist was used to assess the included articles and meta-ethnography was used to synthesize the data.
Fourteen qualitative studies were included. In the synthesis, we use the metaphor of Pandora’s box to deepen our understanding of the topic. We found that some healthcare providers tiptoe around the box, not wanting to face the consequences and responsibilities of asking women about their alcohol use. Others refuse or are reluctant to open the box because they lack knowledge about screening and counselling. Some eventually open the box, understanding the importance of establishing a trusting relationship to address alcohol use and seeing the need for knowledge and screening tools.
Healthcare education has the important task of ensuring that healthcare personnel have sufficient evidence-based knowledge about alcohol use in pregnancy. In the future, a health-promoting, tailored approach offering women in pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy sufficient evidence-based information should be implemented.