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Emergence of aggressive behavior in persons with dementia

Monday, 08 August, 2022 - 09:25

Older people want to remain in their home environment for longer, this includes people with dementia and their relatives. For this to succeed, it is important that professional home care is prepared for the challenges that come with this. A central challenge in the care of people with dementia is aggressive behaviour, which is still taboo and hardly researched in the home setting.

People with dementia have an overall higher risk of aggressive behaviour than people without dementia. This is related to limitations in the area of language and situational understanding, as well as orientation. These limitations require extremely high interaction skills from caregivers, which is already known from research in the inpatient setting. In the home setting, there is also the fact that the caregivers enter the refuge of the clients and clients themselves, but also that the organisation of outreach care is significantly more complex and fragmented than in the inpatient setting. 

A team of researchers has explored the question of how aggressive behaviours of people with dementia specifically arise in the home setting. A qualitative multiple case study, which includes interviews, observation sequences and a document analysis, provides initial insights into this development process. Within the framework of this study, it was possible for the first time to develop a model of how these very behaviours come about and where preventive action could possibly be taken. The model clearly shows that, in addition to the skills and competences of the care professionals, the individual situation of the clients, how they react to it and organisational aspects also have an influence on the development process. Home care for people with dementia is highly demanding and requires highly professional organisation and practice of care. 

The project was funded by the Nursing Science Foundation (CH). The publication on the development process of aggressive behaviour has been published in QuPuG - Journal for Qualitative Research in Nursing and Health Science.

Original Publication (full text only with registration, Abstract under the following link  - scroll to 3rd article):

Schnelli, A., Holdderegger, D., Zeller, A., & Mayer, H. (2022). Emergence of aggressive behavior in persons with dementia in home care services: a qualitative multiple case study. QuPuG - Journal für qualitative Forschung in Pflege und Gesundheitswissenschaft, 1, 23-32. 

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