Management of verbally disruptive behaviors in nursing home residents

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Perla Werner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


Background. Verbally disruptive behaviors (VDB) are verbal or vocal behaviors that are inappropriate to the circumstances in which they are manifested. These behaviors are a source of concern because they disturb persons around the older person and may be an indicator of distress. Methods. Three interventions were tried and compared to a control no-intervention phase. The interventions were: (1) Presentation of a videotape of a family member talking to the older person, (2) in vivo social interaction, and (3) use of music. Results. Thirty-two nursing home residents suffering from dementia and manifesting VDB were observed before, during, and after the interventions, and the duration of VDB was recorded. The behaviors decreased by 56% during the social interaction, 46% during the videotape, 31% during the music, and 16% during the no-intervention. Conclusions. The effects of the interventions were clinically and statistically significant indicating the importance of providing stimulating activities and a richer environment to cognitively impaired nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)M369-M377
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute on AgingR01AG010642


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