International Psychogeriatrics



The impact of residential respite care on the behavior of older people


Christine C. Neville a1c1 and Gerard J. A. Byrne a2
a1 Department of Nursing, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia
a2 School of Medicine, University of Queensland, and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

Article author query
neville cc   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
byrne gj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of residential respite care on disruptive behavior displayed by older people, particularly those with dementia.

Methods: A quasi-experimental, repeated-measures, single-group design was used. The participants were a consecutive series of 100 older people with a mean age of 81.8 years (range 66–96 years) who had been booked for a respite admission to one of several residential aged care facilities in a provincial Australian city. A diagnosis of dementia was reported for 29% of the sample. Disruptive behaviors were rated before and after the period of respite by home caregivers (N = 100) and during the period of respite by nurses (N = 25) using the Dementia Behavior Disturbance Scale (DBDS).

Results: Age, male gender and the presence of dementia were all significantly related to the frequency of reported disruptive behaviors. Residential respite care was associated with a significant reduction in the frequency of reported disruptive behaviors in older people (Wald χ2 = 28.28, p < 0.0001). However, this improvement in behavior did not persist into the post-respite period. The deteriorating behavioral trajectory that was evident prior to respite care continued following the period of respite care.

Conclusions: Residential respite care was associated with a temporary diminution in the frequency of reported disruptive behaviors in older people. This finding should be reassuring both for family carers considering placing a relative in residential respite care and for health workers considering whether to recommend such a course of action.

(Received December 6 2004)
(returned for revision March 7 2005)
(revised version received May 5 2005)
(Accepted May 6 2005)
(Published Online October 28 2005)


Key Words: aged; dementia; nursing home; behavior; Dementia Behavior Disturbance Scale; nursing research.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Christine Neville, Department of Nursing, University of Southern Queensland, West St, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia. Phone: +61 7 4631 1497; Fax: +61 7 4631 2721. Email: nevillec@usq.edu.au.