October 30, 2015



Volume 41, Number 8,  2015


National Priorities for Dementia Care: Perspectives of Individuals Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners

Pages: 9-16

The article reports the consensus recommendations from individuals living with dementia and their care partners on priorities for public policy and research funding, which were found using a nationwide, Delphi study. In Rounds 1 and 2 of the study, 388 and 301 responses, respectively, were received. Borda counts produced a ranked order consensus of priorities. Research ranked third, after the need for caregiver support and resources for the provision of long-term care. Education and training in person-centered practices for all care partners was also a high priority. Responses indicated that research funding should be expanded beyond its current emphasis on cure. Policymakers should reconsider the current priorities of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act to better address the long-term needs of individuals living with dementia and their care partners.


Evaluating an Online Cognitive Training Platform for Older Adults

Pages: 22-31

Decline of cognitive function is a part of aging. However, intensive cognitive training can improve important cognitive functions, such as attention and working memory. Because existing systems are not older adult–friendly and are usually not based on scientific evidence, an online platform was developed for cognitive training with information and communication features and evaluated in an 8-week field test. In a randomized clinical trial with 80 older adults, findings from log data analysis and questionnaires revealed a good use of the online platform. Communication or assistive features were not used often. Good usability ratings were given to the cognitive exercises. Subjective improvements of cognitive functions due to the training were reported. The article presents concrete requirements and recommendations for deploying cognitive training software in older adult residential homes.


Inpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program in a Long-Term Care Facility: Short-Term Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction

Pages: 44-52


The purpose of the current study was to evaluate short-term outcomes of inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (IPR) programs for older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). IPR comprises medical management, exercise, nutrition counseling, and coping skills education programs, among other interventions. The study used a pretest–posttest design with 21 participants evenly split by gender between the ages of 46 and 95. Effects of IPR on functional tolerance exercise capacity and perceived dyspnea on exertion level had a statistically significant difference by the end of the program. Scores for health-related quality of life and subscales of symptoms, impact, and activity in participants younger than 65 were not statistically significant, whereas St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire scores for participants older than 65 showed a statistically significant improvement. Results showed that early IPR is an effective intervention for the management of symptoms of COPD in older adults recovering from a COPD exacerbation.
The Language of Delirium: Keywords for Identifying Delirium from Medical Records
pages - 34-41

Electronic medical records (EMRs) offer the opportunity to streamline the search for patients with possible delirium. The purpose of the current study was to identify words and phrases commonly noted in charts of patients with delirium. The current study included 67 patients (nested within a cohort study of 300 patients) ages 70 and older undergoing major elective surgery with evidence of confusion in their medical charts. Eight keywords or phrases had positive predictive values of 60% to 100% for delirium. Keywords were charted more often in nursing notes than physician notes. A brief list of keywords may serve as a building block for a methodology to screen for possible delirium from charts, with particular attention to nursing notes, for research and real-time clinical decision making.

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