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Keywords:

  • neuropsychiatric;
  • stroke;
  • geriatric;
  • rehabilitation;
  • skilled nursing facility;
  • nursing home

Objective

To investigate the prevalence and course of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in geriatric patients admitted to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for rehabilitation after stroke.

Methods

This was a longitudinal multicenter study within 15 SNFs in the Netherlands. NPS were assessed in 145 patients with stroke through the Neuropsychiatric Inventory–Nursing Home version (NPI-NH) with measurements on admission and at discharge. The prevalence and course of NPS were described in terms of cumulative prevalence (symptoms either on admission or at discharge), conversion (only symptoms at discharge), remission (only symptoms on admission), and persistence (symptoms both on admission and at discharge) for patients who were discharged to an independent living situation within one year after admission and patients who had to stay in the SNF for long term care.

Results

Eighty percent had a first-ever stroke and 74% could be successfully discharged. Overall, the most common NPS were depression (33%), eating changes (18%), night-time disturbances (19%), anxiety (15%), irritability (12%), and disinhibition (12%). One year after admission, the patients who were still in the SNF showed significantly more hallucinations (p = 0.016), delusions (p = 0.016), agitation (p = 0.004), depression (p = 0.000), disinhibition (p = 0.004), irritability (p = 0.018), and night-time disturbances (p = 0.001) than those who had been discharged.

Discussion

The overall prevalence of NPS in this study was lower than reported by other studies in different settings. There was a high prevalence of NPS in patients that could not be successfully discharged.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that NPS should be optimally treated to improve outcome of rehabilitation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.