Objective: To examine factors predicting development of aggression.
Method: Community-dwelling patients over 60 years of age in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center who had a documented ICD-9-CM code for dementia within 12 months of screening and no other dementia codes recorded for 2 preceding years but no aggressive behavior during the 12 months preceding study initiation were assessed every 4 months for 24 months for aggression, depression, pain, patient/caregiver relationship quality (mutuality), involvement in pleasant events, and caregiver burden. The study was conducted from September 5, 2003, to June 10, 2005.
Results: Of 215 patients, 89 (41%) developed aggression. In individual models, high baseline mutuality decreased risk of aggression; high burden and pain increased risk. Increases in depression and pain and declines in total mutuality also increased risk. In a full model and step-wise model, high levels of baseline caregiver burden, worst pain, and decline in mutuality over time increased risk of aggression.
Conclusions: Many dementia patients become aggressive. Higher levels of worst pain, caregiver burden, and declining mutuality over time increase risk of aggression.
© Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.