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BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 142, 2022 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704829


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 restrictions in nursing homes resulted in a reduction in stimuli for residents. This study aimed to explore observed effects of changes in stimuli, both targeted (e.g., planned recreational activities) and untargeted (e.g., spontaneous noise), on challenging behavior in nursing home residents during COVID-19 anti-pandemic measures. METHODS: In an online survey, nursing home healthcare professionals in the Netherlands provided their perspectives on the effects of the reduction in untargeted stimuli on residents with mild, advanced, or no dementia, and on different types of challenging behavior (i.e., psychotic, depressed, anxious, agitated, or apathetic behavior). Additionally, we asked participants' opinions about strategies for limiting untargeted stimuli and for adjusting targeted stimuli for optimal management of challenging behaviors. RESULTS: In total, 199 professionals completed the survey. Residents with advanced dementia and those with psychotic and agitated behavior seemed to benefit from the reductions in stimuli not specifically targeted at the resident. In contrast, residents without dementia and those with depressive and apathetic behavior seemed to be negatively affected by reductions in untargeted stimuli. Participants would like to continue reducing untargeted stimuli in the future (e.g., limiting the use of corridors adjacent to residents' rooms) and to adapt existing or introduce new initiatives involving targeted stimuli (e.g., small-scale, individually tailored activities). Responses to open-ended questions revealed additional initiatives that could be useful in nursing home care. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided lessons to learn from the COVID-19 measures in nursing homes. While many residents may have been negatively affected by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, specific resident groups may have benefitted from the reduction in untargeted stimuli and from the adjustments made to daily activities. Various strategies and initiatives used in nursing homes during the pandemic seem promising for meeting individual needs in managing challenging behavior. These findings suggest that certain stimuli may affect specific resident groups differently. This underlines the importance of finding the right balance between stimuli and tranquility, tailored to the needs of individual residents. It is important to consider the stimuli present in nursing homes, whether targeted or untargeted, when analyzing and treating challenging behavior.

COVID-19 , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
Aging Ment Health ; 25(7): 1314-1319, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967715


OBJECTIVES: From the perspective of the nursing home (NH) practitioners, to gain understanding of (1) whether challenging behavior in NH residents changed during the COVID-19 measures, (2) whether the practitioners' involvement in the treatment of challenging behavior changed, (3) what can be learned from the experience of NH staff. METHODS: A mixed methods study with a survey in 323 NH practitioners (psychologists, elderly care physicians, nurse practitioners) in the Netherlands, and in-depth interviews in 16 NH practitioners. Nonparametric analyses were used to compare estimated proportions of residents with increased and with decreased challenging behavior. Content analyses were conducted for open-ended questions and in-depth interviews. RESULTS: Participants reported changes in challenging behavior with slightly higher proportions for increased (Q1/Mdn/Q3: 12.5%, 21.7%, 30.8%) than for decreased (8.7%, 14.8%, 27.8%, Z = -2.35, p = .019) challenging behavior. Half of the participants reported that their work load increased and work satisfaction worsened during the measures. Different strategies were described to respond to the effects of COVID-19 measures, such as video calls, providing special areas for residents to meet their loved ones, adjusting activities, and reducing the exposure to negative news. CONCLUSIONS: Because COVID-19 measures resulted in both increased and decreased challenging behavior in NH residents, it is important to monitor for their potential long lasting effects. Increased work load and worsened work satisfaction of the NH staff, together with the changes in type of challenging behavior, indicate that the harmful effects of the anti-pandemic measures should be taken seriously.

COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Netherlands , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2