Apathy is common and may decrease life expectancy in nursing home patients

In a study of nursing home patients, apathy was linked with an increased risk of dying over a 4-month period, even after controlling for depression. The study also found that apathy was present in half of nursing home patients.

Apathy is defined by diminished or lack of motivational, goal-directed behavior, and a lack of cognition and emotional affect. It leads to reduced interest and participation in the main activities of daily living.

The findings suggest that screening and for apathy should be developed for individuals in nursing homes.

"The presence of in nursing home patients should get more attention in daily care. Patients, family, and staff need to establish goals of care to improve quality of life and advanced care planning, in the context of decreased ," said Johanna Nijsten, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

Explore further

Clear, strong stimulation may help prevent apathy for persons with dementia

More information: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2017). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15007
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Apathy is common and may decrease life expectancy in nursing home patients (2017, August 9) retrieved 23 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-08-apathy-common-decrease-life-nursing.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more