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Introduction: Given the aging population and the high prevalence of cognitive impairment in older hospitalized patients, it is essential to provide good fundamental care to these vulnerable patients, who easily might be affected by poor outcomes as delirium. Risk factors for delirium are, for example, cognitive impairment, old age, pain, and sleep deprivation. Different symptoms are often unidentified in hospitals, and associated with poor well-being, but this is rarely studied in older patients with cognitive impairment. The study aim was to examine symptoms and sense of well-being in older hospitalized patients with cognitive impairment, as self-reported and reported in patient records. Methods: Exploratory quantitative subgroup (n = 25) analysis of a point-prevalence study (n = 210). Inclusion criteria were age ≥65, and cognitive impairment. Data were collected through structured interviews, validated instruments, and patient records. Associations between well-being and symptoms, and concordance between the occurrence of self-reported symptoms and symptoms reported in patient records were analyzed. Results: The patients reported severe and distressing symptoms that were sparsely reported (14%) in their records. As well were cognitive impairment, and the patients’ own descriptions of their well-being. Some symptoms and the total symptom burden were associated with poor well-being. Discussion/Conclusion: To our knowledge, this hypothesis-generating study is one of few studies that describe both symptoms and well-being as self-reported and reported in patient records, in vulnerable patients due to old age, cognitive impairment, and hospitalization. Despite the limited sample size, the results indicate that symptoms were more insufficient alleviated in these patients compared to patients with normal cognitive function in other studies. To our knowledge, this has not been shown previously. Additionally, patients’ own experiences were sparsely reported in their records. A larger sample size and longitudinal design has the potential to determine if symptom alleviation differs between patients with and without cognitive impairment, and if a total symptom burden increases the risk of poor outcomes as delirium in vulnerable patients.

Publication Title

Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra





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