Skip to main content Accessibility help

Investigating the current methods of assessing behavioral and psychological symptoms in residential aged care facilities in a metropolitan city

  • Samantha M. Loi (a1) (a2) and Nicola T. Lautenschlager (a1) (a2) (a3)


Up to 90% of people with dementia living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) display behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), and these are associated with poorer quality of life and increased morbidity and mortality. In order to implement appropriate interventions, it is important to understand the symptoms in more detail. Despite the availability of BPSD assessment tools, it is unknown what the current practice of monitoring of BPSD in RACFs. We sought to investigate the current BPSD assessment tools being used in RACFs and explore different stakeholders’ views on current practices. A cross-sectional convenience sample of 21 clinicians were identified and administered a questionnaire.

Old age psychiatrists, aged psychiatry clinicians, behavior management teams and RACF staff completed the questionnaires. Clinicians reported that objective consistent information about BPSD were important for recommending and implementing pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies for BPSD; however, the use of validated BPSD assessments in RACFs was not a usual part of clinical practice. RACF staff stated the major barrier to assessment of BPSD was lack of time. Alternate methods of assessing BPSD which consider preferences from clinicians and RACF staff should be further investigated. Modern technology which can allow “real time” assessment may be a solution.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Samantha M. Loi, Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, 34–54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia. Phone: +61 3 8387 2767. Email:


Hide All
Balestreri, L., Grossberg, A. and Grossberg, G. (2000). Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia as a risk factor for nursing home placement. International Psychogeriatrics, 12, 5962.
Brodaty, H. et al. (2001). Psychosis, depression and behavioural disturbances in Sydney nursing home residents: prevalence and predictors. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 504512.
Finkel, S. I., Costa, E., Silva, J., Cohen, G., Miller, S. and Sartorius, N. (1996). Behavioral and psychological signs and symptoms of dementia: a consensus statement on current knowledge and implications for research and treatment. International Psychogeriatrics, 8, 497500.
Gitlin, L. N., Marx, K. A., Stanley, I. H., Hansen, B. R. and Van Haitsma, K. S. (2014). Assessing neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with dementia: a systematic review of measures. International Psychogeriatrics, 26, 18051848.
Herrmann, N. et al. (2006). The contribution of neuropsychiatric symptoms to the cost of dementia care. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 972976.
Kitwood, T. (1997). Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
Loi, S. and Hassett, A. (2011). Evolution of aged persons mental health services in Victoria: the history behind their development. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 30, 226230.
Lyketsos, C. G., Steinberg, M., Tschanz, J. T., Norton, M. C., Steffens, D. C. and Breitner, J. C. (2000). Mental and behavioral disturbances in dementia: findings from the cache county study on memory in aging. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 708714.
Okura, T. and Langa, K. M. (2011). Caregiver burden and neuropsychiatric symptoms in older adults with cognitive impairment: the Aging, Demographics and Memory Study (ADAMS). Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 25, 116121.
State Government of Victoria (2008). Victoria's mental health services. [Online]. Available at:; last accessed 17 May 2016.
Torta, R., Badino, E. and Scalabrino, A. (2004). Therapeutic strategies for behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) in demented patients. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 38, 443454.


Investigating the current methods of assessing behavioral and psychological symptoms in residential aged care facilities in a metropolitan city

  • Samantha M. Loi (a1) (a2) and Nicola T. Lautenschlager (a1) (a2) (a3)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed