Is Dementia Special Care Really Special? A New Look at an Old Question
Article first published online: 27 DEC 2007
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 56, Issue 2, pages 199–205, February 2008
How to Cite
Gruneir, A., Lapane, K. L., Miller, S. C. and Mor, V. (2008), Is Dementia Special Care Really Special? A New Look at an Old Question. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56: 199–205. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2007.01559.x
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 27 DEC 2007
- special care units;
- nursing homes;
- Minimum Data Set
OBJECTIVES: To quantify differences in care provided to nursing home (NH) residents with dementia living on and off dementia special care units (SCUs).
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using propensity score adjustment for resident and NH characteristics.
SETTING: Free-standing NHs in nonrural U.S. counties that had an SCU in 2004 (N=1,896).
PARTICIPANTS: Long-stay (≥90 days) NH residents with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or dementia and at least moderate cognitive impairment (N=69,131).
MEASUREMENTS: Resident-level NH care processes such as physical restraints, bed rails, feeding tubes, psychotropic medications, and incontinence care.
RESULTS: There was no difference in the use of physical restraints (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.79–1.11), but SCU residents were less likely to have had bed rails (AOR=0.55, 95% CI=0.46–0.64) and to have been tube fed (AOR=0.36, 95% CI=0.30–0.43). SCU residents were more likely to be on toileting plans (AOR=1.23, 95% CI=1.08–1.39) and less likely to use pads or briefs in the absence of a toileting plan (AOR=0.73, 95% CI=0.61–0.88). SCU residents were more likely to have received psychotropic medications (AOR=1.23, 95% CI=1.05–1.44), primarily antipsychotics (SCU=44.9% vs non-SCU=30.0%).
CONCLUSION: SCU residents received different care than comparable non-SCU residents. Most strikingly, SCU residents had greater use of antipsychotic medications.