Relationship between behavioral disturbances and characteristics of patients in special units for dementia


Dr Keiko Matsuoka-Hattori, Yoshioka Rehabilitation Clinic, 4-2-8 Shimo-Renjaku, Mitaka-City, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan. Email:


Abstract  The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between behavioral disturbances and patient characteristics of inpatients with dementia nationwide. The five patient characteristics used were age, gender, years of education, cognitive status, and walking ability. The subjects consisted of 730 inpatients selected by systematic sampling from 180 units that have specialized psychiatric beds for acute/long-term care of dementia. Clinical staff members assessed the 730 patients with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and filled out a questionnaire for long-term care insurance, including 19 items relating to behavioral disturbances and walking scale. Five meaningful factors were identified out of the 19 behavioral disturbances by factor analysis. Linear regression analysis revealed that the factor ‘psychotic/neurotic’ was not related to any patient characteristics; ‘aggression/negativistic’ was related to male gender and a lower MMSE score; and ‘dirty/destructive’ and ‘disorientation/fire management’ were related to a lower MMSE score and higher walking score. The factor ‘sexual behavior’ included only one behavior at a very low frequency. These findings suggest that different behavioral disturbance factors have different correlations with patient characteristics, while cognitive dysfunction has a relatively important role in behavioral disturbances of inpatients with dementia.