Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Geriatric Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences

Abstract

Older adults with dementia care needs often visit primary care physicians (PCPs), but PCP dementia care limitations are widely documented. This study tested the value of employing a nurse practitioner (NP) with geropsychiatric expertise to augment PCP care for newly and recently diagnosed patients and family caregivers. Twenty-one dyads received the NP intervention; 10 dyads were controls. Outcomes included patient neuropsychiatric symptom and quality of life changes, and caregiver depression, burden, and self-efficacy changes. Intervention acceptability by patients, caregivers, and PCPs was determined. No outcome differences were found; however, the NP intervention was deemed highly satisfactory by all stakeholders. Patients experienced no significant cognitive decline during their 12-month study period, helping explain why outcomes did not change. Given widespread acceptability, future tests of this PCP-enhancing intervention should include patients with more progressive cognitive decline at study entry. NPs with geropsychiatric expertise are ideal interventionists for this rapidly growing target population.

Comments

Res Gerontol Nurs. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun 1, 2014. Published in final edited form as: Res Gerontol Nurs. May 1, 2014; 7(3): 126–137. Published online Jan 21, 2014. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20140113-01 PMCID: PMC4040327 NIHMSID: NIHMS566841

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