Psychosis, depression and behavioural disturbances in Sydney nursing home residents: prevalence and predictors

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2001 May;16(5):504-12. doi: 10.1002/gps.382.


Background: There is wide variation in the rates of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) reported in nursing homes.

Aims: This study aimed to investigate: (1) the prevalence of BPSD in nursing home residents using the BEHAVE-AD; (2) the relationships of BPSD with (a) demographic, (b) dementia, (c) diurnal and (d) nursing home variables; and (3) the inter-relationships between different types of BPSD, as measured by subscales of the BEHAVE-AD.

Results: Over 90% of residents exhibited at least one behavioural disturbance. Specifically, there was evidence of psychosis in 60%, depressed mood in 42% and activity disturbances or aggression in 82% of residents. Younger, more functionally impaired residents with a chart diagnosis of psychosis had higher BPSD rates, as did those residing in larger nursing homes. Individual BPSD were significantly intercorrelated.

Conclusions: BPSD are ubiquitous in nursing home residents. Behavioural disturbances are frequently associated with psychosis and/or depression. The findings suggest the need for psychogeriatric services to nursing homes and smaller facilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aggression
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Observer Variation
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors