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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 362-368

Magnitude and determinants of behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia patients visiting a geriatric psychiatry clinic in a rural medical college

Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kshirod Kumar Mishra
Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha - 442 102, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_262_21

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Background: The proportion of elderly people in the Indian population is increasing, thereby making dementia a major public health concern. The behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are deleterious to the illness course in dementia. The characteristics and sociodemographic and clinical correlates of BPSD is an understudied area. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional observational descriptive study conducted in a public hospital. Hospital records of 97 dementia patients who visited the geriatric clinic in the time span of 20 months were analyzed using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: The mean age of the patients was 69.9 ± 8.50 years, majority being males (72%). Sleep disturbance (75.3%), changes in psychomotor activity (55.7%), and irritability (45.3%) were the most common behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia. Apathy was seen in 39% of patients, whereas the proportion of patients with depression and anxiety was 26% and 35%, respectively. Psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations were seen in approximately 24% and 15.5% of patients, respectively. The psychotic symptoms showed a significant association with lower levels of education, whereas apathy was negatively associated with age. Females had a higher likelihood of having psychotic symptoms as compared to males. Conclusion: In the present study, the frequency and association of neuropsychiatric symptoms with demographic variables have been described in dementia patients visiting a public hospital in rural India. Among BPSD, sleep and motor disturbances were most frequent whereas agitation/aggression was least frequent. The age, education level, and gender differences noted in the individual symptoms need to be confirmed in further studies with better design.

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