Characteristics of aggressive subjects in Australian (Melbourne) nursing homes

Ajit Shah, Edmond Chiu, David Ames, Susan Harrigan, Dean McKenzie

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Aggressive behavior is common in nursing homes for the elderly. It causes distress to carers and can lead to hospitalization, overmedication, and physical restart. Method: A 6-month prospective study examining the characteristics of aggressive subjects in 11 nursing homes in Melbourne using validated, reliable instruments. Results: During the study, 121 and 143 subjects were rated aggressive on the Rating Scale for Aggressive Behavior in the Elderly and the Staff Observation Aggression Scale, respectively. Aggressive behavior was associated with younger age, men, subsequent mortals, and prescription of psychotropic drugs including neuroleptics, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines. Conclusions: Educational programs in the use of psychotropic drugs directed at staff involved in the care of nursing home residents may be of value because these drugs have modest efficacy, have significant side effects, and may simply sedate the patient rather than treat aggressive behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-161
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000

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