THE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN PATIENT’S COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND CAREGIVER’S PERCEIVED PATIENT PROBLEM BEHAVIORS AND CAREGIVER’S VIGILANCE

Authors: Mengchi Li, SN; Judith Erlen, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ran Sun, PhD(c); Susan Sereika, PhD; and Lisa Tamres, MS. University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Department of Health and Community Systems. Address:3500 Victoria Street, Victoria Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

As a patient’s cognition declines, an informal caregiver may be required to provide increased oversight. This study examines the association between patients’ cognitive function and caregiver’s perceived patient behavioral problems and caregiver’s vigilance. This descriptive correlational secondary analysis used baseline data from a randomized controlled trial examining an intervention to address caregiver-mediated medication management. Patients' cognitive function, caregivers' perception of patient behavioral problems, and caregivers’ perceptions about time spent for patient care were measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Revised Memory and Behavior Problem Checklist (RMBPC), and the four items of the Caregiver Vigilance Scale, respectively. Data were described and the Spearman correlation was applied to examine the associations among the six variables. Of the 91 patient/caregiver dyads, patients (mean age=80.1±8.8 years) were 59% female (n=54) and 87% white (n=79); caregivers (mean age=67.0±12.1 years) were 70% female (n=64), 85% white (n=77), and 57% spouse of the patient (n=52). Patients’ MMSE median was 17.0 (IQR=9). Based on the RMBPC frequency subscale, the mean of perceived frequency of patient problem behaviors during the past week was 34.5 (SD=13.8). Caregivers reported the daily average that patients can be left alone at home as 5.9±8.0 hours and left alone in a room as 10.5±10.0 hours, while caregivers feel "on duty" 16.5±9.1 hours and actually provided care 7.6±6.1 hours. A lower patient MMSE score was associated with increased frequency in patient behavioral problems (r=-.26, p=.021) observed over the past week, less number of hours patients can be left alone at home (r=.50, p<.001) or in a room (r=.62, p<.001), and more hours per day needed for caregiving (r=-.29, p=.006) or doing things for patients (r=-.40, p<.001). In conclusion, decreased patient cognition is associated with increased patients’ problem behaviors and perceived vigilance demand.


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Mengchi Li

Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Type: Oral

Subject: Nursing

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Oral 3
Date/Time: Thu 3:00pm-3:20pm
Location: Old North 211
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