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Effects of a stepwise multidisciplinary intervention for challenging behavior in advanced dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

Pieper, M.J.C., Francke, A.L., Steen, J.T. van der, Scherder, E.J.A., Twisk, J.W.R., Kovach, C.R., Achterberg, W.P. Effects of a stepwise multidisciplinary intervention for challenging behavior in advanced dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: 2016, 64(2), 261-269
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Objectives
To assess whether implementation of a stepwise multicomponent intervention (STA OP!) is effective in reducing challenging behavior and depression in nursing home residents with advanced dementia.

Design
Cluster randomized controlled trial.

Setting
Twenty-one clusters (single independent nursing home units) in 12 nursing homes within the Netherlands.

Participants
Residents with advanced dementia (N = 288).

Intervention
Staff working on intervention units received comprehensive stepwise multidisciplinary training; the control condition received training on general nursing skills, dementia management and pain without the stepwise component.

Measurements
The primary outcome was agitation (Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI)). Secondary outcomes included psychotropic medication use, neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory—Nursing Home version (NPI-NH)), and symptoms of depression (Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), Minimum Dataset Depression Rating Scale (MDS-DRS)). Measurements were made at baseline and 3 and 6 months after the intervention. Multilevel analysis and logistical generalized estimating equations were used to test treatment and time effects. Analysis was on an intention-to-treat basis.

Results
Multilevel modeling revealed an overall effect of the intervention on challenging behavior and depression; CMAI (mean difference −4.07 points, 95% confidence interval = (CI) = −7.90 to −0.24, P = .02), NPI-NH (mean difference −3.57 points, 95% CI = −6.30 to −0.84, P = .005), CSDD (mean difference −1.59 points, 95% CI = −2.49 to −0.69, P < .001), and MDS-DRS (mean difference −0.96 points, 95% CI = −1.40 to −0.52, P < .001) scores were significantly lower in the intervention condition than the control condition. There was a significant reduction of antidepressants (N06A) (OR = 0.32); nonsignificant reductions of antipsychotics (N05A), anxiolytics (N05B), and hypnotic–sedatives (N05C) (odds ratios = 0.69 to 0.90).

Conclusion
For nursing home residents with advanced dementia and challenging behavior, providing staff with comprehensive training in behavioral management, resulted in improved behavior and less psychotropic medication use. (aut. ref.)