Management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in long-term care facilities in Japan


Dr Masami Kutsumi RN, Faculty of Nursing, Senri Kinran University, 5-25-1 Fujishirodai, Suita City, Osaka 565-0873, Japan. Email:


Background:  An increasing number of old people, and their medical requirements, cannot be managed by their families in their homes, which has been the traditional and prevalent practice in Japan. The number of people with dementia is increasing and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) make care difficult. In the present study, we investigated management techniques for BPSD in long-term care facilities in Japan by using the data mining method, which looks at the reported behaviors of care providers.

Methods:  First, interviews were conducted with 15 care providers to develop items for a questionnaire. These data were analyzed qualitatively and synthesized with criteria from the professional literature. The resulting self-report questionnaire on techniques used to manage different symptoms of dementia was completed by 275 care providers. We applied the association rule as a data mining method examining 15 management techniques related to 13 BPSD.

Results:  Analysis identified four types of management techniques: (i) emotional and behavior-concordance techniques; (ii) acceptance and supportive techniques; (iii) restraining techniques; and (iv) avoidance techniques. Different management techniques, and combinations of techniques, were found to vary in use and effectiveness with different BPSD.

Conclusions:  Good management techniques for many BPSD have been developed and are being implemented by care providers. The present study has the potential to inform researchers and care providers in Japan about the types of management techniques in current use, as well as areas of potential need for staff training.