Objectives: Gerontopsychiatric nursing home residents are residents with a chronic mental condition (not dementia), in combination with one or more physical disorders. Psychiatric and behavioral problems are common within this population. The objective of this study is to examine these behaviors and their relationship to the level of both observed and self-rated well-being in the gerontopsychiatric population.
Method: Both gerontopsychiatric residents, and their primary formal caregiver in several nursing homes in The Netherlands were asked to participate in a structured interview concerning psychiatric and behavioral problems and resident well-being. Psychiatric and behavioral problems were measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q) and the Cohen Mansfield Agitation Index (CMAI). Well-being was measured through the self-rated Laurens Well-being Inventory for Gerontopsychiatry (LWIG), and the observer rated Laurens Well-being Observations for Gerontopsychiatry (LWOG).
Results: A total of 126 residents participated in the study with ages varying from 42 to 90. Different types of chronic mental disorders such as schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorders and personality disorders were prevalent in the population. Most psychiatric and behavioral problems are associated with lower observed and self-rated well-being. For irritability and affective problem behaviors the relationship with well-being was the most evident.
Conclusion: In daily care practice the relationship between well-being and psychiatric and behavioral problems should be taken into account in care planning and treatment. To further explore the direction and details of this relationship, more research is needed.
Keywords: Well-being; aging; behavioral problems; long term-care; psychiatry.