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Management of the Agitated Elderly Patient in the Nursing Home: The Role of the Atypical Antipsychotics

Sumer D. Verma, M.D.; Donald A. Davidoff, Ph.D.; and Krishna K. Kambhampati, M.D.

Published: August 1, 1998

Article Abstract

Agitation is a frequent and troublesome problem in the long-term care setting. The term agitationis a nonspecific descriptor of a variety of verbal, vocal, and motor behaviors that can be unsafe,disruptive, and distressing to staff, families, and patients alike. Agitation can occur as a result of psychiatricand nonpsychiatric conditions, and appropriate treatment needs to be directed at the targetsymptoms. Optimal results are achieved with a combination of behavioral and pharmacologic interventions.In this review, we examine some of the causes and interventions that can assist physicianscaring for the agitated elderly in long-term care settings. The role of the atypical antipsychotics is discussedin detail.

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Volume: 59

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