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Keywords:

  • behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD);
  • dementia;
  • geriatric psychiatry;
  • medical psychiatry;
  • physical complication

Abstract

Background:  The Imaise Branch of Ichinomiya City Hospital proactively accepts patients with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). In cases with serious physical complications, we treat them in cooperation with other medical departments. We investigated the physical complications in our Special Ward for Elderly with Senile Dementia (WED) to determine the need to treat them for dementia.

Methods:  The subjects were 53 patients, who left our WED in the 12 months from April, 2005 to March, 2006. We subdivided physical complications into three categories in this investigation: (i) serious emergencies occurring in WED with a possibly high risk of mortality; (ii) emergency complications arising in WED that required diagnoses and treatment by specialists of other departments; and (iii) chronic diseases related to other more severe diseases requiring treatment.

Results:  The 53 investigated patients consisted of 28 men (53%) and 25 women (47%). Their average age was 79 years (male 76, female 82). There were 35 patients (66%) with Alzheimer’s disease, five (9%) with vascular dementia, two (4%) with dementia with Lewy bodies, and 11 with other illnesses. The average hospitalization period was about 8 months. Serious emergencies with a high risk of mortality occurred 22 times for every 15 patients (28%) in total. Six patients (11%) died in the WED. Emergencies requiring diagnoses and treatment by specialists of other departments occurred 23 times in every 18 patients (35%) in total. Patients with chronic diseases related to other more severe diseases numbered 26 (49%).

Conclusion:  These investigations confirmed the great need to treat physical complications in facilities for patients with dementia. All three categories of physical complications showed high rates, and the kinds of diseases varied. It is necessary to diagnose and treat various physical complications with a high incidence rate, and it is important to cooperate with specialists of other medical departments.