Anxiety symptoms among assisted living residents: implications of the "no difference" finding for participants with and without dementia

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Res Gerontol Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Research in gerontological nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version



Anxiety is a distressing experience at any age but may be particularly disabling when coupled with dementia. Dementia-related anxiety is associated with a range of additional problems among community-dwelling older adults, but little is known about its occurrence in assisted living environments. The purpose of this article is to describe the prevalence of anxiety symptoms among older adults who participated in Phase I of the Maryland Assisted Living Study, a cross-sectional study of 198 participants who underwent comprehensive dementia evaluations. Participants with dementia diagnoses (n=134) were compared with those without dementia (n=64) using two measures of anxiety. Anxiety was common in both groups: 22% of each group were assessed to have one or more anxiety symptoms using proxyrated methods, and 45% had at least mild anxiety using direct observation and interview. Factors that contribute to variability in reports of dementia-related anxiety are reviewed.


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety/diagnosis/epidemiology/etiology/psychology, Assisted Living Facilities/organization & administration, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dementia/complications/diagnosis, Factor Analysis, Statistical, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Humans, Inpatients/psychology/statistics & numerical data, Male, Maryland/epidemiology, Nursing Assessment, Prevalence, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Risk Factors, Severity of Illness Index

Published Article/Book Citation

Research in gerontological nursing, 1:2 (2008) pp.97-104. DOI:10.3928/19404921-20080401-06;.

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