Nonpharmacologic treatment of behavioral disturbance in dementia

Med Clin North Am. 2002 May;86(3):641-56, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7125(02)00006-8.


This article provides an overview of the current literature on non-pharmacologic treatment of behavioral problems in patients with dementia, and offers practical guidelines for healthcare professionals interested in using this approach with their patients. Because effective treatment begins with accurate assessment, we provide a brief discussion of the state-of-the-art in assessment of behavioral problems. The article discusses current trends in clinical care along with specific strategies for treating and preventing some of the most common and debilitating behavioral problems of dementia patients: depression, agitation/aggression, wandering, and sleep disturbance. Because caregivers are essential informants and participants in patient care, we conclude by addressing the role of the caregiver in nonpharmacologic treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Caregivers / education*
  • Dementia / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder* / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder* / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / etiology
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Sleep