Dementia-specific assisted living: clinical factors and psychotropic medication use

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Start Page


End Page



BACKGROUND: Assisted living (AL) is an increasingly popular long-term care alternative for older adults with dementia, making this setting an important focus for both clinical practice and research among psychiatric nurses. OBJECTIVES: This article describes results from a pilot study focusing on residents' cognitive and emotional status as well as psychotropic drug use. Findings are compared to reports from larger studies in the literature. STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive, correlational design was used to collect data from 17 residents in two dementia-specific AL facilities. RESULTS: Thirty-one psychiatric diagnoses were identified for 17 participants. Anxiety and depression symptoms were endorsed by more than 50% of participants, and 88% were prescribed psychotropic medications. CONCLUSIONS: AL residents may experience problems with cognition and emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression, creating important roles for psychiatric nurses in staff education, promotion of nonpharmacologic interventions, and monitoring of psychotropic medication use in this growing population.


Anxiety -- Diagnosis, Assisted Living, Dementia -- Rehabilitation, Depression -- Diagnosis, Psychotropic Drugs -- Administration and Dosage, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Correlational Studies, Descriptive Research, Descriptive Statistics, Fisher's Exact Test, Funding Source, Geriatric Functional Assessment, Midwestern United States, Pearson's Correlation Coefficient, Pilot Studies, Psychological Tests, Record Review, Sample Size, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 14:1 (2008) pp.39-49.

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