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October 2021

Agitation: Conceptualization, measurement, and treatment

Author(s): Yudofsky, S. C.

Journal/Book: Bull Menninger Clin. 1999; 63: Box 829, Topeka, KS 66601, USA. Menninger Foundation. A31-A52.

Abstract: Agitation in the elderly, as conventionally conceptualized by health professionals, is a commonly occurring, highly disabling set of emotions and behaviors. The immediacy, unpredictability, and intermittence of symptoms present safety and manageability issues for families and caregivers. A broad range of incidences may be accounted for by inconsistencies in the nosology, measurement, and biopsychosocial conceptualizations of agitation, leading to the misinterpretation of data and, consequently, to ineffective and variable treatment practices. The Overt Agitation Severity Scale is recommended as an objective measure of observed agitated behaviors, which, if present, alert clinicians to search for the specific underlying disorders that elicited the agitation. Specific biopsychosocial treatment strategies are discussed including pharmacological, psychological, familial, spiritual, and environmental interventions. The objective interpretation of agitation severity will lead so more appropriate interventions for the management of these types of highly problematic behaviors.

Note: Article Kopecky HJ, Baylor Coll Med, Dept Psychiat & Behav Sci, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston,TX 77030 USA

Keyword(s): NURSING-HOME RESIDENTS; BRAIN INJURY; DRUG-USE; PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT; BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS; SODIUM VALPROATE; ELDERLY PATIENT; SEVERITY SCALE; DEMENTIA; MANAGEMENT


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