Identifying the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in stages of Alzheimer’s disease: A meta-analysis
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Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type (DAT) is an insidious disease that, over time, affects all aspects of neurocognitive functioning, eventually resulting in death. While neurocognitive symptoms of DAT certainly impair overall functioning and well-being, the behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSD) of DAT have traditionally been overshadowed by the more overt neurocognitive symptoms of DAT. Numerous correlates and risk factors have been identified for individual BPSD. Some studies have even examined the presence of sub-groups, clusters, or syndromes of BPSD. The current study examined, using meta-analytic techniques, the occurrence of BPSD in different levels of DAT severity (mild, moderate, and severe). It was hypothesized total BPSD would increase from mild to moderate DAT, while decreasing in the severe stage. It was also believed individual BPSD would be more prevalent in certain DAT severity levels. While there was only one significant difference among the different DAT severity levels, many of the effect sizes were in the expected directions. Limitations in the empirical literature include lack of data available for BPSD in different severity levels of DAT and studies that do not differentiate the DAT severity levels in the participants.