Survival to late dementia in Dutch nursing home patients.
SourceJournal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51, 2, (2003), pp. 184-7
Article / Letter to editor
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Nursing Home Medicine
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the determinants of survival to late dementia in Dutch nursing home patients. DESIGN: Observational analysis of a cohort of patients with a prospective follow-up. SETTING: Psychogeriatric nursing home "Joachim en Anna" in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Dementia patients from a psychogeriatric nursing home admitted between 1980 and 1989. MEASUREMENTS: All patients were followed until death. Age, sex, severity of dementia on admission, and type of dementia were analyzed as determinants of survival to late dementia. Late dementia was operationally defined as total impairment on 20 items of the functional status questionnaire. RESULTS:The mean disease duration of the study population was 7.0 years, with a wide range. Some died soon after dementia was diagnosed, whereas others lived for more than 25 years after onset of the disease. One hundred twenty-six patients (14.2%) reached the phase of late dementia, most of whom were women (90%) with Alzheimer's disease (60%). For most of the patients, this phase lasted 1 year or less. Age, sex, type of dementia, and severity of dementia on admission all contributed significantly to predicting survival to late dementia. CONCLUSION: One of seven nursing home patients with dementia survived to late dementia. Nursing home physicians can use these findings to inform relatives about the prognosis.
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