, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 335-342

Anxiety Symptoms as Predictors of Nursing Home Placement in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

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Anxiety symptoms are fairly common among patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Such symptoms are likely to make patient care more problematic and, therefore, increase the risk of nursing home placement. Anxiety symptoms were evaluated on the basis of physician examinations, in conjunction with caregiver interviews, in 372 community-dwelling AD patients. Patients received annual follow-up for 1–12 years (M = 4.4). Patients who exhibited anxiety symptoms at baseline assessment were significantly more likely to enter nursing homes, regardless of initial cognitive status or other risks for institutionalization. There was a 15% increase in risk for each point on a 0–5 scale. This study supports the hypothesis that anxiety symptoms increase the risk of nursing home placement in patients with AD. Consequently, there is a need for better understanding of the causes of anxiety in AD and for the development of effective methods of assessment and treatment.