Reasons for acute psychiatric admission of patients with dementia | Demenciában szenvedő páciensek akut pszichiátriai osztályra történő felvételének okai

R. Takacs, Gabor Ungvari, G. Gazdag

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015, Hungarian Association of Psychopharmacology. All rights reserved. Introduction: The estimated number of patients living with dementia in Hungary is between 150,000 and 300,000. Hungary’s prevalence of vascular dementia is much higher than that of other countries. Patients with dementia can be admitted to psychiatric hospitals for several reasons, the least common of which is cognitive decline. Comorbid psychiatric disorders or dementia-related behavioral disturbances are much more common reasons. Aim: To examine the reasons for the acute psychiatric admission of patients suffering from dementia in a psychiatric center in Budapest. Materials and methods: In this retrospective survey the data of dementia patients who were referred to the Centre for Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine (CPAM) at Szent István and Szent László Hospitals between August 1 and October 31, 2014 were analyzed with special attention paid to the reasons for hospitalization. Results: Altogether 302 patients were admitted to the CPAM over the study period and 26.15% of them suffered from dementia. The distribution of dementia subtypes was as follows: 43% mixed type (vascular and neurodegenerative), 40.5% vascular type, 11.4% Alzheimer’s disease, and 5.1% other types. A small percentage (12.7%) of patients had mild dementia, while 34.2% and 53.2% suffered from moderate and severe dementia, respectively. The major causes of hospitalization were aggressive behavior (34.2%), delirium (19%), and divagation and confusion 15.2% each. They were mainly associated with moderate and severe dementia. Suicide attempt was the reason for admission in 10.1% of cases, and delusions in 6.3%. With regard to admission outcome, 44.3% of patients were transferred to a medical ward, 12% within 3 days of psychiatric admission. Nearly 9% of patients required extended hospitalization, 21.5% were discharged home, 20.3% were transferred to a nursing home and 5.1% died while in hospital. More than half of the patients were rated on the CGI-C scale; 59% of them scored 2 points (much improved), 25% scored 1 point (very much improved) and 16% scored 3 points (moderate improvement). Discussion: A high proportion of dementia patients acutely admitted to a psychiatric ward was medically compromised and either died soon after admission (5%) or was transferred to a medical ward for further treatment. This highlights the importance of a thorough medical work-up including physical examination and laboratory investigations for dementia patients requiring acute psychiatric admission. It is of note that only a small number of patients could be discharged home or to a nursing home. These figures underscore the need for more nursing home places and a better functioning social care system in this field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-145
    JournalNeuropsychopharmacologia Hungarica
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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