Date of Conferral
Researchers have linked dementia to common psychiatric symptoms such as agitation and aggression, known as behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). To treat residents manifesting BPSD, nursing homes (NHs) use psychoactive medications. However, research is limited and inconsistent regarding the impact of Depakote treatment on agitation and short-term memory (STM) in NH residents who have dementia. The purpose of this nonexperimental quantitative study was to evaluate for 1 year the impact of Depakote treatment on agitation and STM in NH residents as measured by each resident's Minimum Data Set (MDS). Moncrieff and Cohen's drug-centered theory served as the theoretical foundation for the study. Archival data from the consulting pharmacist and NH MDS included 16 NH dementia residents. Data were analyzed using a repeated-measures within-subject ANOVA. Results indicated no significant impact of Depakote treatment on agitation and STM scores over a 1-year period. Results may be used to assess the impact and efficacy of a common yet largely unexamined invasive treatment on an underserved, vulnerable population.