Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

The Association of Physical Function with Agitation and Passivity in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

Fang Yu, PhD, CRNP, RN; Ann M. Kolanowski, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN; Mark Litaker, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the association of physical function with agitation and passivity in nursing home residents with dementia using direct observational measures. Data were analyzed using mixed model analysis of variance. This study was a secondary data analysis using baseline data yielded from a crossover experimental study. Univariate analyses showed that physical function, cognitive status, and education explained a significant amount of variance in agitation. When controlled for cognitive status and education, physical function lost significance and only explained 2.6% of the variance in agitation. It was found that physical function was not related to passivity. Environmental factors may be more salient antecedents for agitation and passivity in nursing home residents with moderate to severe cognitive impairment.

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the association of physical function with agitation and passivity in nursing home residents with dementia using direct observational measures. Data were analyzed using mixed model analysis of variance. This study was a secondary data analysis using baseline data yielded from a crossover experimental study. Univariate analyses showed that physical function, cognitive status, and education explained a significant amount of variance in agitation. When controlled for cognitive status and education, physical function lost significance and only explained 2.6% of the variance in agitation. It was found that physical function was not related to passivity. Environmental factors may be more salient antecedents for agitation and passivity in nursing home residents with moderate to severe cognitive impairment.

Authors

Dr. Yu is Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dr. Kolanowski is Professor of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, School of Nursing, University Park, Pennsylvania; and Dr. Litaker is Associate Professor and Director of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Dentistry, Birmingham, Alabama.

This study was supported by John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to Dr. Yu and by a grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (#R15 NR 08148) awarded to Dr. Kolanowski.

Address correspondence to Fang Yu, PhD, CRNP, RN, 5-160 WDH 1331, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail: yuxxx244@umn.edu

10.3928/00989134-20061201-05

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