Collection of articles on Aging is available here.

National Early Warning Scores Following Emergency Hospital Transfer: Implications for Care Home Residents.
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Barker RO, Atkin C, Hanratty B, Kingston A, Cooksley T, Gordon A, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Feb 20;S1525-8610(23)00087-7.
OBJECTIVE: Care home residents have high rates of hospital admission. The UK National Early Warning Score (NEWS2) standardizes the secondary care response to acute illness; however, the ability of NEWS2 to predict adverse health outcomes specifically for care home residents is unknown. This study explored the relationship between NEWS2 on admission to hospital and resident outcome 7 days later. DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Data on UK care home residents admitted to 160 hospitals in two 24-hour periods (2019 and 2020). METHOD: Chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis tests, and multinomial regression were used to explore the association between low (score ≤2), intermediate (3-4), high (5-6), and critically high (≥7) NEWS2 on admission and each of the following: discharge on day of admission, admission and discharge within 7 days, prolonged hospital admission (>7 days), and death. RESULTS: From 665 resident admissions across 160 hospital sites, NEWS2 was low for 54%, intermediate for 18%, high for 13%, and critically high for 16%. The 7-day outcome was 10% same-day discharge, 47% admitted and subsequently discharged, 34% remained inpatients, and 8% died. There is a significant association between NEWS2 and these outcomes (P < .001). Compared with those with low NEWS2, residents with high and critically high NEWS2 had 3.6 and 9.5 times increased risk of prolonged hospitalization (relative risk ratio [RRR] 3.56; 95% CI 1.02-12.37; RRR 9.47; CI 2.20-40.67), respectively. The risk of death was approximately 14 times higher for residents with high NEWS2 (RRR 13.62; CI 3.17-58.49) and 54 times higher (RRR 53.50; CI 11.03-259.54) for critically high NEWS2. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Higher NEWS2 measurements on admission are associated with an increased risk of hospitalization up to 7 days’ duration, prolonged admission, and mortality for care home residents. NEWS2 may have a role as an adjunct to acute care decision making for hospitalized residents.

Interventions to promote mobility and quality of life in nursing homes. A systematic review.
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Bohn B, Strupeit S.
Nurs Open. 2023 Feb 25
AIM: The aim of the study was to identify interventions to promote mobility that has an impact on the quality of life of people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. DESIGN: The design of the study was a systematic review. METHODS: The search was performed in September 2021 in the databases PubMed, Epistemonikos and the Cochrane Library for studies published between 2010 and 2021 in the German or English language. RESULTS: Four studies identified improvements in mobility and quality of life. Nine of the ten included studies showed impacts of the interventions on different mobility variables. Heterogeneous variables and instruments were used to assess quality of life and, in particular, mobility, which made it difficult to compare the results of the studies. Approximately 50% of the identified studies had small sample sizes.

Tango-Therapy Intervention for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment Living in Nursing Homes: Effects on Quality of Life, Physical Abilities and Gait.
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Bracco L, Cornaro C, Pinto-Carral A, Koch SC, Mourey F.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 16;20(4).
Cognitive impairment in older adults is associated with poor gait performance, physical decline, falls and poor quality of life. This paper analyzes the feasibility and efficacy of tango-based intervention in older people living in nursing homes with and without cognitive impairment. A multicenter study, with pre- and post-test, was carried out. Intervention attendance, well-being, physical abilities (short physical performance battery), walking performance, functional capacities (Katz Index) and quality of life (quality of life in Alzheimer’s disease) were assessed. Fifty-four participants (84.9 ± 6.7 years, mini mental state examination 14.5 ± 7.4) completed the protocol. Intervention attendance was 92%, and the mean subjective well-being after each session was 4.5 ± 0.5 (on a five-point scale). A statistically significant improvement was found in the quality of life (p = 0.030). Non-statistically significant changes were found in walking performance (p = 0.159), physical abilities (p = 0.876) and in functional capacities (p = 0.253). This study shows feasibility and suggests evidence for the effects of tango therapy on well-being and quality of life. Further studies are necessary to contrast these findings and to support the role of tango interventions as a holistic approach to prevent functional decline in older people with cognitive impairment.

Quality of Nursing Homes Among ADRD Residents Newly Admitted From the Community: Does Race Matter?
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Cai S, Yan D, Wang S, Temkin-Greener H.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
Objective To examine racial differences in admissions to high-quality nursing homes (NHs) among residents with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD), and whether such racial differences can be influenced by dementia-related state Medicaid add-on policies. Design Retrospective cross-sectional study. Setting and Participants The study included 786,096 Medicare beneficiaries with ADRD newly admitted from the community to NHs between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2017. Methods 2010–2017 Minimum Data Set 3.0, Medicare Beneficiary Summary File, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review, and Nursing Home Compare data were linked. For each individual, we constructed a “choice” set of NHs based on the distance between the NH and an individual residential zip code. McFadden’s choice models were estimated to examine the relationship between admission into a high-quality (4- or 5-star) NH and individual characteristics, specifically race, and state Medicaid dementia-related add-on policies. Results Among the identified residents, 89% were White, and 11% were Black. Overall, 50% of White and 35% of Black individuals were admitted to high-quality NHs. Black individuals were more likely to be Medicare-Medicaid dually eligible. Results from McFadden’s model suggested that Black individuals were less likely to be admitted to a high-quality NH than White individuals (OR = 0.615, P < .01), and such differences were partially explained by some individual characteristics. Furthermore, we found that the racial difference was reduced in states with dementia-related add-on policies, compared with states without these policies (OR = 1.16, P < .01). Conclusions and Implications Black individuals with ADRD were less likely to be admitted to high-quality NHs than White individuals. Such difference was partially related to individuals’ health conditions, social-economic status, and state Medicaid add-on policies. Policies to reduce barriers to high-quality NHs among Black individuals are necessary to mitigate health inequity in this vulnerable population.

Taxonomy of Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers From Long-term Care Homes: A Systematic Scoping Review.
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Cetin-Sahin D, Gore G, Cummings GG, Vedel I, Karanofsky M, Voyer P, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Feb 6;S1525-8610(23)00035-X.
OBJECTIVE: To develop a taxonomy of interventions aimed at reducing emergency department (ED) transfers and/or hospitalizations from long-term care (LTC) homes. DESIGN: A systematic scoping review. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Permanent LTC home residents. METHODS: Experimental and comparative observational studies were searched in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase Classic + Embase, the Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, AMED, Global Health, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database, Ovid Healthstar, and Web of Science Core Collection from inception until March 2020. Forward/backward citation tracking and gray literature searches strengthened comprehensiveness. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess study quality. Intervention categories and components were identified using an inductive-deductive thematic analysis. Categories were informed by 3 intervention dimensions: (1) “when/at what point(s)” on the continuum of care they occur, (2) “for whom” (ie, intervention target resident populations), and (3) “how” these interventions effect change. Components were informed by the logistical elements of the interventions having the potential to influence outcomes. All interventions were mapped to the developed taxonomy based on their categories, components, and outcomes. Distributions of components by category and study year were graphically presented. RESULTS: Ninety studies (25 randomized, 23 high quality) were included. Six intervention categories were identified: advance care planning; palliative and end-of-life care; onsite care for acute, subacute, or uncontrolled chronic conditions; transitional care; enhanced usual care (most prevalent, 31% of 90 interventions); and comprehensive care. Four components were identified: increasing human resource capacity (most prevalent, 93%), training or reorganization of existing staff, technology, and standardized tools. The use of technology increased over time. Potentially avoidable ED transfers and/or hospitalizations were measured infrequently as primary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This proposed taxonomy can guide future intervention designs. It can also facilitate systematic reviews and precise effect size estimations for homogenous interventions when outcomes are comparable.

The art of friendliness: Organiser perspectives on curating dementia friendly cultural events.
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Fletcher JR, Deng M, Dobson D.
Dementia (London). 2023 Feb 17;14713012231158428.
Over recent decades, the arts have become a popular response to dementia. Amidst wider concerns with accessibility, widening participation and audience diversity, coupled with greater attention to creativity across dementia studies, many arts organisations are now offering dementia friendly initiatives. While dementia friendliness has been well-established for almost a decade, the meaning of friendliness remains vague. This paper reports results from a study of how stakeholders navigate this nebulousness when developing their own dementia friendly cultural events. To assess this, we interviewed stakeholders working for arts organisations in the northwest of England. We found that participants built up local informal networks of knowledge exchange, sharing experiences between stakeholders. The dementia friendliness that characterises this network centres on the crafting of vibes that enable people with dementia to ‘unhide’ themselves. Through this accommodating approach, dementia friendliness converges with stakeholder interests, becoming something of an art form in its own right, typified by active embodied experience, flexible and creative self-expression, and being in-the-moment.

Obesity and its associated factors in older nursing home residents in three European countries-Secondary data analyses from the “International Prevalence Measurement of Care Quality”.
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Großschädl F, Schoberer D, Eglseer D, Lohrmann C, Everink I, Gordon AL, et al.
Int J Older People Nurs. 2023 Feb 25;e12530.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity has risen in recent decades and reached epidemic proportions worldwide. The proportion of those living with obesity is also increasing in nursing homes. This could impact the nursing care required, equipment and facilities provided, and morbidity in these settings. Limited evidence exists on clinical consequences of obesity in nursing home residents and their care. OBJECTIVE: Therefore, the aim was to examine the rate and associated factors of obesity (BMI ≥30; class I (BMI 30.0-34.9 kg/m(2) ), class II (BMI 35.0-39.9 kg/m(2) ), and class III (BMI >40.0 kg/m(2) )) amongst older nursing home residents in European countries. METHODS: We analysed data from 21,836 people who reside in nursing homes in Austria, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. They participated in the “International Prevalence Measurement of Care Quality”, a cross sectional study between 2016 and 2019, where trained nurses interviewed the residents, reviewed care records, and conducted clinical examinations. A tested and standardised questionnaire comprised questions on demographic data, measured BMI, medical diagnosis according to ICD-10, and care dependency. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: Obesity rates were highest in Austria (17.1%) and lowest in the UK (13.0%) (p = .006). Residents with obesity were younger and less likely to be care dependent or living with dementia and had more often diabetes mellitus, endocrine, metabolic, and skin diseases compared to residents without obesity (p < .05). Most obese residents had obesity class I. Therefore, two subgroups were built (class I vs. class II + III). Residents with obesity class II + III were more frequently care dependent for mobility, getting dressed and undressed, and personal hygiene compared to residents with class I (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: This study identified several factors that are associated with obesity amongst older nursing home residents in selected European countries. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The division into obesity classes is important for planning targeted care according to the individual needs of nursing home residents.

Incidence of Aggressive End-of-Life Care Among Older Adults With Metastatic Cancer Living in Nursing Homes and Community Settings.
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Koroukian SM, Douglas SL, Vu L, Fein HL, Gairola R, Warner DF, et al.
JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Feb 1;6(2):e230394.
IMPORTANCE: Nearly 10% of the 1.5 million persons residing in nursing homes (NHs) have received or will receive a diagnosis of cancer. Although aggressive end-of-life (EOL) care is common among community-dwelling patients with cancer, little is known about such patterns of care among NH residents with cancer. OBJECTIVE: To compare markers of aggressive EOL care between older adults with metastatic cancer who are NH residents and their community-dwelling counterparts. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database linked with the Medicare database and the Minimum Data Set (including NH clinical assessment data) for deaths occurring from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017, among 146 329 older patients with metastatic breast, colorectal, lung, pancreas, or prostate cancer, with a lookback period in claims data through July 1, 2012. Statistical analysis was conducted between March 2021 and September 2022. EXPOSURES: Nursing home status. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Markers of aggressive EOL care were cancer-directed treatment, intensive care unit admission, more than 1 emergency department visit or more than 1 hospitalization in the last 30 days of life, hospice enrollment in the last 3 days of life, and in-hospital death. RESULTS: The study population included 146 329 patients 66 years of age or older (mean [SD] age, 78.2 [7.3] years; 51.9% men). Aggressive EOL care was more common among NH residents than community-dwelling residents (63.6% vs 58.3%). Nursing home status was associated with 4% higher odds of receiving aggressive EOL care (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.04 [95% CI, 1.02-1.07]), 6% higher odds of more than 1 hospital admission in the last 30 days of life (aOR, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.02-1.10]), and 61% higher odds of dying in the hospital (aOR, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.57-1.65]). Conversely, NH status was associated with lower odds of receiving cancer-directed treatment (aOR, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.55-0.58]), intensive care unit admission (aOR, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.79-0.84]), or enrollment in hospice in the last 3 days of life (aOR, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.86-0.92]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Despite increased emphasis to reduce aggressive EOL care in the past several decades, such care remains common among older persons with metastatic cancer and is slightly more prevalent among NH residents than their community-dwelling counterparts. Multilevel interventions to decrease aggressive EOL care should target the main factors associated with its prevalence, including hospital admissions in the last 30 days of life and in-hospital death.

Access to a dementia-friendly garden on behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, falls and psychotropic medication use in residents of an aged care home in Melbourne, Australia.
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Lai R, Foladkar M, Dhaliwal G, Kibria A, Gualano RC, Healy ML.
Australas Psychiatry. 2023 Mar 2;10398562231160364.
OBJECTIVE: Residents of care homes need access to outdoors. This may improve behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and quality of life in residents living with dementia. Barriers including lack of accessibility and increased falls risk, which may be mitigated using dementia-friendly design. This prospective cohort study followed a group of residents in the first 6 months after the opening of a new dementia-friendly garden. METHOD: Nineteen residents participated. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory – Nursing Home Version (NPI-NH) and psychotropic medication use were collected at baseline, 3 and 6 months. The facility’s falls rate during this time and feedback from staff and residents’ next of kin were collected. RESULTS: Total NPI-NH scores decreased, though not significantly. Feedback was positive overall; the falls rate decreased. Usage of the garden was low. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its limitations, this pilot study adds to the literature about the importance of access to the outdoors for people who are experiencing BPSD. Staff remain concerned about falls risk despite the dementia-friendly design, and many residents do not access outdoors frequently. Further education may help to remove barriers to encouraging residents to access the outdoors.

Effects of auricular acupressure on sleep and pain in elderly people who have osteoarthritis and live in nursing homes: A randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
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Lee WJ, Park H.
Explore (NY). 2023 Apr;19(2):214–22.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the effects of auricular acupressure (AA) on sleep and pain among elderly people with osteoarthritis who live in nursing homes. METHOD: It was a randomized, single-blinded, and placebo-controlled comparative pretest-posttest study that applied AA for eight weeks. The study was conducted among 52 elderly people, comprising an experimental group (n=26), and a control group (n=26). Polysomnography, actigraphy, the levels of melatonin and pressure pain threshold (PPT) were measured. The standardized measurement on sleep quality and pain was also used. RESULTS: Experimental group scores on sleep quality significantly improved as compared to those of the placebo control group. The polysomnography (sleep efficiency, sleep latency, awakening, stage 2 sleep) and the actigraphy (sleep efficiency, sleep latency, number of awakenings) were shown to be significant. The levels of melatonin significantly increased after terminating the intervention. The result of the pain (visual analogue scale) significantly reduced and the PPT significantly increased among the elderly in the experimental groups. CONCLUSIONS: AA can be used as an effective intervention to improve their sleep of the elderly living in nursing homes, and it can also reduce the pain.

Exercise Guidelines to Counteract Physical Deconditioning in Long-Term Care Facilities: What to Do and How to Do It?
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Peyrusqué E, Buckinx F, Kergoat MJ, Aubertin-Leheudre M.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Feb 20;S1525-8610(23)00089-0.
With age, older adults experience a decrease in muscle function and changes in body composition, which raise the risk of functional incapacity and loss of autonomy. These declines are more pronounced in older adults living in long-term care (LTC) facilities than those living in the community (ie, sarcopenia prevalence: ∼41% vs ∼10%; obesity prevalence: 30% vs17%). The main cause of these declines is chronic diseases, which are a driver of higher rates of sedentary behavior (85% of time in LTC). Exercise, however, is recognized to help counteract age-related decline, yet it is not integrated into clinical practice.

The Role of Individual-Level Socioeconomic Status on Nursing Home Placement Accounting for Neighborhood Characteristics.
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Ryu E, Wi CI, Wheeler PH, King KS, Carlson RE, Juhn YJ, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Feb 22;S1525-8610(23)00090-7.
OBJECTIVE: Independent living is desirable for many older adults. Although several factors such as physical and cognitive functions are important predictors for nursing home placement (NHP), it is also reported that socioeconomic status (SES) affects the risk of NHP. In this study, we aimed to examine whether an individual-level measure of SES is associated with the risk of NHP after accounting for neighborhood characteristics. DESIGN: A population-based study (Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Older adults (age 65+ years) with no prior history of NHP. METHODS: Electronic health records (EHR) were used to identify individuals with any NHP between April 1, 2012 (baseline date) and April 30, 2019. Association between the HOUSES index, an individual-level SES measure based on housing characteristics of current residence, and risk of NHP was tested using random effects Cox proportional hazard model adjusting for area deprivation index, an aggregated SES measure that captures neighborhood characteristics, and other pertinent confounders such as age and chronic disease burden. RESULTS: Among 15,031 older adults, 3341 (22.2%) experienced NHP during follow-up period (median: 7.1 years). At baseline date, median age was 73 years old with 55% female persons, 91% non-Hispanic Whites, and median number of chronic conditions of 4. Accounting for pertinent confounders, the HOUSES index was strongly associated with risk of NHP (hazard ratio 1.89; 95% confidence interval 1.66‒2.15 for comparing the lowest vs highest quartiles), which was not influenced by further accounting for area deprivation index. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study demonstrates that an individual-level SES measure capturing current individual-specific socioeconomic circumstances plays a significant role for predicting NHP independent of neighborhood characteristics where they reside. This study suggests that older adults who are at higher risk of NHP can be identified by utilizing the HOUSES index and potential individual-level intervention strategies can be applied to reduce the risk for those with higher risk.

Care Home Residency and Its Association with Ambulance Service Workload.
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Sinclair DR, Charlton K, Stow D, Burrow E, Hanratty B.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Feb 21;S1525-8610(23)00099-3.
OBJECTIVES: Care home residents comprise a significant minority of ambulance patients, but little is known about how care homes impact ambulance service workload. This study aims to quantify differences in the workload of ambulance paramedics associated with patient residence (care home vs private). DESIGN: This was an observational study using routine ambulance service data and Clinical Frailty Scale scores from patients attended by 112 study paramedics between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 3056 patients (459 in care homes) aged ≥50 attended by the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, England. METHODS: This study used 2 outcome measures of treatment: time spent at scene and conveyance to hospital. Anonymized patient data and incident time logs were collected from ambulance electronic patient care records. The relationships between care home residency, conveyance to hospital, and time spent at scene were investigated using ordinal logistic regression and quantile regression. Models were weighted to address potential sampling imbalance using anonymised call logs containing all eligible ambulance callouts. RESULTS: Care home residents were less likely to be conveyed to hospital [odds ratio: 0.75 (0.59-0.96)] and received shorter treatment time than community residents [median -7.0 (-12.0, -1.9) minutes for patients conveyed to hospital, -2.8 (-5.4, -0.3) minutes for patients discharged at scene]. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results suggest that care homes provide support that reduces demand on the ambulance service and other “downstream” services in secondary care. This study also points to a need to enhance care for older people in private households to contain the demands on ambulance services. These findings have implications for countries like England, where ambulance services struggle to meet target response times, which may affect patient outcomes.

The feasibility of a stepping exergame prototype for older adults with major neurocognitive disorder residing in a long-term care facility: a mixed methods pilot study.
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Swinnen N, de Bruin ED, Guimarães V, Dumoulin C, De Jong J, Akkerman R, et al.
Disabil Rehabil. 2023 Feb 23;1–15.
PURPOSE: To explore the feasibility of an exergame prototype in residential individuals with major neurocognitive disorder (MNCD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants were randomly assigned to a 12-week stepping exergame training or traditional exercise (active control group). Semi-structured interviews were conducted after six and 12 weeks of exergaming. Qualitative data were thematically analysed using NVivo 12. The Short Physical Performance Battery, one minute sit-to-stand test, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, and Dementia Quality of Life were assessed at baseline and post intervention using a Quade’s ANCOVA. RESULTS: Seven older adults with MNCD in the exergame and 11 in the active control group completed the study [mean age = 83.2 ± 6.5 years; 94.4% female; SPPB score = 7.3 ± 2.4]. Results indicated that the VITAAL exergame prototype was experienced as enjoyable and beneficial. The post-MMSE score was higher (η(2)=.02, p = 0.01, F = 8.1) following exergaming versus traditional exercise. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the exergame prototype is accepted by individuals with MNCD residing in a long-term care facility when they are able to participate and under the condition that they are extensively guided. The preliminary efficacy results revealed higher post-MMSE scores after exergaming versus traditional exercise. Future trials should confirm or refute these findings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered in (Identifier: NCT04436315)Implications for rehabilitationThe VITAAL exergame prototype is accepted by individuals with MNCD residing in a long-term care facility who are able to participate.Supervision of exergaming by health professionals is essential for successful implementation.The VITAAL exergame prototype might maintain cognitive levels in major neurocognitive disorder longer than walking combined with standardised squatting and stepping exercises.

Investigating the impact of music therapy on two in-patient psychiatric wards for people living with dementia: retrospective observational study.
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Thompson N, Iyemere K, Underwood BR, Odell-Miller H.
BJPsych Open. 2023 Feb 23;9(2):e42.
BACKGROUND: Music therapy can lift mood and reduce agitation for people living with dementia (PwD) in community and residential care settings, potentially reducing the prevalence of distress behaviours. However, less is known about the impact of music therapy on in-patient psychiatric wards for PwD. AIMS: To investigate the impact of music therapy on two in-patient psychiatric wards for PwD. METHOD: A mixed-methods design was used. Statistical analysis was conducted on incidents involving behaviours reported as ‘disruptive and aggressive’ in 2020, when music therapy delivery varied because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews conducted online with three music therapists and eight ward-based staff were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Quantitative findings showed a significant reduction in the frequency of behaviours reported as disruptive and aggressive on days with in-person music therapy (every 14 days) than on the same weekday with no or online music therapy (every 3.3 or 3.1 days, respectively). Qualitative findings support this, with music therapy reported by music therapists and staff members to be accessible and meaningful, lifting mood and reducing agitation, with benefits potentially lasting throughout the day and affecting the ward environment. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a significant reduction in the occurrence of distress behaviours on days with in-person music therapy when compared with no music therapy. Music therapy was reported to be a valuable intervention, supporting patient mood and reducing agitation. Interventional studies are needed to investigate the impact of music therapy and its optimum mode of delivery.

Effects of a multicomponent physical exercise programme on perceived health-related quality of life and on depressive symptoms in older adults living in long-term nursing homes.
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Ugartemendia-Yerobi M, Kortajarena M, Elordi U, Zinkunegi-Zubizarreta N, Zarrazquin I, Calvo-Aguirre JJ, et al.
Int J Nurs Sci. 2023 Jan;10(1):16–22.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the impact of a multicomponent exercise programme on perceived health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and depressive symptomatology in older people living in a long-term nursing home (LTNH). METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted. Forty-one older people were conveniently selected from the largest LTNH in the Basque Country. The participants were assigned to either an intervention group (n = 21) or a control group (n = 20). The intervention group participated in 50-min moderate intensity multicomponent physical exercise sessions (strength and balance, three sessions a week for 3 months). The control group participants continued their usual activities in the LTNH. Assessments were completed at baseline and reassessed after the 12-week intervention by the same nurse researchers who filled out the questionnaires: the 36-item Short Form Survey (SF-36) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). RESULTS: Thirty-eight participants completed the study (19 participants in each group). In the SF-36 parameters, physical functioning increase in the intervention group tends with a mean increase of 11.06 units (a 17.2% increase over the pre). In the role-emotional, the increase in the intervention group is with a mean increase of 5.27 units (a 29.1% increase over the pre) (P < 0.05). In social functioning, the increase in the control group is significant with a mean increase of 13.16 units (a 15.4% increase over the pre) (P < 0.05). There are no significant changes in the rest of the parameters, there are no differences between groups in the evolutionary pattern either. CONCLUSIONS: As for the effects of the multicomponent exercise programme on HRQoL and depressive symptomatology, no statistically significant effects were obtained in the outcome data among older adults living in LTNHs. An increase in the sample size could confirm the trends obtained. The results may help inform the design of future studies.

Time for Better Care at the End of Life

OECD, 7 February 2023
Across OECD countries, timely access to adequate end-of-life care to relieve symptoms for those with terminal illnesses such as pain, breathlessness, and distress, named as palliative care, is low, with less than 40% of those in need receiving care. Despite a preference to die at home, half of deaths happen in hospital, often due to lack of in-home and community-based support. Provision of palliative care to provide comfort and improve quality of life often happens at a late stage in the process because mechanisms to ensure timely access are scarce. Less than a third of the OECD countries have national programmes to monitor the time span between referral and delivery of end-of-life care services. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to stark prominence the reality of overwhelmed health systems which struggled to provide end-of-life care and the necessity for systems to be scalable and adaptable in the face of emergencies.