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Caring for relatives with agitation at home: a qualitative study of positive coping strategies

Hoe, J; Jesnick, L; Turner, R; Leavey, G; Livingston, G; (2017) Caring for relatives with agitation at home: a qualitative study of positive coping strategies. BJPsych Open , 3 (1) pp. 34-40. 10.1192/bjpo.bp.116.004069. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Trials of psychological interventions for reducing agitation in people with dementia living at home have been unsuccessful. AIMS: To inform future interventions by identifying successful strategies of family carers with relatives with dementia and agitation living at home. METHOD: Qualitative in-depth individual interviews were performed with 18 family carers. We used thematic analysis to identify emerging themes. RESULTS: Carers described initial surprise and then acceptance that agitation is a dementia symptom and learned to respond flexibly. Their strategies encompassed: prevention of agitation by familiar routine; reduction of agitation by addressing underlying causes and using distraction; prevention of escalation by risk enablement, not arguing; and control of their emotional responses by ensuring their relative's safety then walking away, carving out some time for themselves and using family and services for emotional and practical help. CONCLUSIONS: These strategies can be manualised and tested in future randomised controlled trials for clinical effectiveness in reducing agitation in people with dementia living at home. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: None.

Type: Article
Title: Caring for relatives with agitation at home: a qualitative study of positive coping strategies
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.116.004069
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjpo.bp.116.004069
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Royal College of Psychiatrists This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1544390
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