Sources of Discomfort in Persons With Dementia | Dementia and Cognitive Impairment | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
July 22, 2013

Sources of Discomfort in Persons With Dementia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Minerva Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of End of Life, Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Herczeg Institute on Aging, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
  • 2Innovative Aging Research, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(14):1378-1379. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6483

Current methods to assess discomfort often include ratings scales, such as the discomfort scale for Alzheimer disease, which are also used to assess pain.1,2 In this study, we take an alternative approach in which we examine the discomfort in the context of its source.

Participants included 179 agitated nursing home residents with dementia (mean age, 86 years; 72% female; mean Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] score, 8.79) from 10 nursing homes in Maryland. Residents’ discomfort was observed as part of the study for the Treatment Routes for Exploring Agitation (TREA) that received institutional review board approval of Charles E. Smith Life Communities.3