Understanding challenging behaviour in patients with dementia
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Understanding challenging behaviour in patients with dementia

Colm Cunningham Associate director – health and social care, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling, Scotland

The fifth and final article in the series on patients with dementia in acute care examines challenging behaviour. Hospital admission, combined with unfamiliar surroundings and memory problems, can be frightening and disorientating for those with dementia. This can lead to behaviour which is perceived as ‘disruptive’ or ‘difficult’. Aspects of the hospital environment or care practice can contribute to problems that may be misinterpreted and lead to challenging behaviour. Staff should seek to understand the cause of challenging behaviour, assess the possible causes and use strategies to reinforce familiarity and minimise distress for these patients.

Correspondence colm.cunningham@stir.ac.uk

Nursing Standard. 20, 47,42-45. doi: 10.7748/ns2006.08.20.47.42.c4477

Published in print: 02 August 2006

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review