Psychiatric symptoms and nursing home placement of patients with Alzheimer's disease

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Aug;147(8):1049-51. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.8.1049.


Two hundred ten community-dwelling patients with Alzheimer's disease were examined prospectively by psychiatrists as part of a longitudinal study. Twenty-five of these patients who were institutionalized during the next 3 years were then matched to 25 patients who were not institutionalized, and the groups were compared. The patients who had been institutionalized had higher scores on standardized psychiatric rating scales but not on formal neuropsychological tests of cognition. These results suggest that potentially treatable (noncognitive) behavioral and psychiatric symptoms are risk factors for institutionalization, and that treating these symptoms might delay or prevent institutionalization of some patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors