Title

Measuring problem behaviors in dementia: developing a methodological agenda

Document Type

Article

Peer Reviewed

1

Publication Date

9-1-1997

NLM Title Abbreviation

Ans Adv Nurs Sci

Journal/Book/Conference Title

ANS.Advances in nursing science

PubMed ID

9266016

Abstract

As many as 90% of persons with dementing illness demonstrate problem behaviors that range from repetitive verbalizations, agitation, and wandering to verbal and physical aggression toward self and others. Reliable and accurate measurement of these behaviors is crucial for tracking illness progression; for monitoring the effects of pharmacologic and behavioral interventions; and for continued investigation into the correlates of caregiver stress, burden, and coping. However, there is no single, universally accepted measure or methodology for operationalizing problem behaviors, and variations in definition and measurement across studies complicate drawing meaningful conclusions about these behaviors. This article is an overview of five factors that have complicated accurate and dependable measurement of problem behaviors in dementia: the shifting domain of problem behaviors, slippage across research constructs, unexplored rater bias, scoring bias, and the absence of benchmarking studies. A methodological agenda is discussed for future investigations in this rapidly growing area of gerontological research.

Keywords

Behavior, Dementia/classification/complications/psychology, Humans, Models, Psychological, Psychological Tests, Research, Severity of Illness Index

Published Article/Book Citation

ANS.Advances in nursing science, 20:1 (1997) pp.40-55.

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URL

https://ir.uiowa.edu/nursing_pubs/462