Down and drowsy? Do apathetic nursing home residents experience low quality of life?
MetadataShow full item record
This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between apathy and quality of life (QOL) in nursing home residents (n = 227). In all, 92 residents could be assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Morale Scale (PGCMS), and were able to answer a question about overall subjective QOL. Apathetic behaviour and consciousness disorders were measured with the Behaviour Rating Scale for Psychogeriatric Inpatients (GIP). Linear regression analysis was first applied to study the association of cognition, depression and consciousness with apathy. It was then used to study the relationship between apathy and QOL, controlling for the constructs that were associated with apathy. The relationship between apathy and QOL appeared to vary with the cognitive functioning of the residents: In residents with a low level of cognitive functioning, apathetic behaviour was associated with high QOL; in residents with a higher level of cognitive functioning, apathetic behaviour was associated with low QOL. The necessity and nature of interventions aimed at stimulating apathetic residents may depend on the level of cognitive functioning of the residents. Further research is needed to determine if and when apathy interventions are appropriate