International Psychogeriatrics

Research Article

12-month incidence, prevalence, persistence, and treatment of mental disorders among individuals recently admitted to assisted living facilities in Maryland

Quincy M. Samusa1 c1, Chiadi U. Onyikea2, Deirdre Johnstona2, Lawrence Mayera1, Matthew McNabneya3, Alva S. Bakera4, Jason Brandta2, Peter V. Rabinsa2, Constantine G. Lyketsosa1 and Adam Rosenblatta5

a1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

a2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

a3 Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

a4 The Center for the Study of Aging, McDaniel College, Westminster, Maryland, USA

a5 Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia, USA


Background: To estimate the 12-month incidence, prevalence, and persistence of mental disorders among recently admitted assisted living (AL) residents and to describe the recognition and treatment of these disorders.

Methods: Two hundred recently admitted AL residents in 21 randomly selected AL facilities in Maryland received comprehensive physician-based cognitive and neuropsychiatric evaluations at baseline and 12 months later. An expert consensus panel adjudicated psychiatric diagnoses (using DSM-IV-TR criteria) and completeness of workup and treatment. Incidence, prevalence, and persistence were derived from the panel's assessment. Family and direct care staff recognition of mental disorders was also assessed.

Results: At baseline, three-quarters suffered from a cognitive disorder (56% dementia, 19% Cognitive Disorders Not Otherwise Specified) and 15% from an active non-cognitive mental disorder. Twelve-month incidence rates for dementia and non-cognitive psychiatric disorders were 17% and 3% respectively, and persistence rates were 89% and 41% respectively. Staff recognition rates for persistent dementias increased over the 12-month period but 25% of cases were still unrecognized at 12 months. Treatment was complete at 12 months for 71% of persistent dementia cases and 43% of persistent non-cognitive psychiatric disorder cases.

Conclusions: Individuals recently admitted to AL are at high risk for having or developing mental disorders and a high proportion of cases, both persistent and incident, go unrecognized or untreated. Routine dementia and psychiatric screening and reassessment should be considered a standard care practice. Further study is needed to determine the longitudinal impact of psychiatric care on resident outcomes and use of facility resources.

(Received October 22 2012)

(Reviewed November 14 2012)

(Revised November 26 2012)

(Accepted November 28 2012)

(Online publication January 07 2013)

Key words:

  • incidence;
  • dementia;
  • psychiatric disorder;
  • treatment;
  • recognition


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Quincy M. Samus, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5300 Alpha Commons Drive, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. Phone: +1-410-550-6744; Fax: +1-410-550-1407. Email: