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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • day care;
  • caregiver;
  • behavioral and psychological symptoms

Abstract

Objective

To assess the effects of Day Care (DC) on older subjects with dementia and their caregivers.

Methods

Thirty patients with dementia, consecutively admitted to a DC, were compared with 30 patients, matched for age and cognitive function, who received usual home care (HC). Primary caregivers were compared as well. At baseline and after 2 months, patients were assessed for cognitive and functional status, behavioral and psychological symptoms [Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)] and psychotropic drugs use, and caregivers were evaluated for care burden [Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI)] and depressive symptoms.

Results

After adjusting for potential confounders, NPI score significantly decreased in DC group, with a reduction of psychotropic drugs prescription, whereas it increased in HC. No significant between-group difference was observed for cognitive and functional change. CBI significantly decreased in DC, but not HC, caregivers, with no significant between-group difference in depressive symptoms change.

Conclusions

A 2-month period of DC assistance is effective in reducing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia patients and in alleviating caregivers' burden. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.