Introduction: People living with dementia in nursing homes have complex needs; impairments in cognition, communication, and daily function; neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS); and poor quality of life (QoL). The current study examines impairments in non-verbal communication as a potential driver of NPS and QoL. Methods: One hundred nursing home residents with dementia were assessed using the Emory Dyssemia Index (EDI), Neuropsychiatric Inventory Nursing Home version (NPI-NH), Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease (QoL-AD) at baseline, 12-, and 24-week follow-up. Results: The quantile regression (0.5) model indicated that impairment of non-verbal communication was independently associated with the severity of NPS (P =.001) and proxy reported QoL (P <.05), levels of agitation (P <.05), and professional caregiver burden (P <.05). Discussion: These results highlight a novel potential approach to improve NPS and QoL using retained elements of non-verbal communication, particularly for people with severe dementia.
|Journal||Alzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|