The relationship between cognitive function and agitation in senior day care participants

Jiska Cohen‐Mansfield, William J. Culpepper, Perla Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The relationship between cognitive impairment and functional status with agitation was assessed in 200 participants of senior day care programs. Results revealed better than 85% agreement in measures of cognitive impairment (BCRS, MMSE, physician assessment of dementia). Regression analyses showed that physically non‐aggressive and verbally aggressive behaviors were related to level of cognitive impairment (BCRS, MMSE). These results showed that physically non‐aggressive behaviors were manifested at earlier stages of dementia than physically aggressive behaviors, which were not manifested until late stages of dementia. Verbally non‐aggressive behaviors increased with severity of dementia up to moderate‐severe levels of impairment and then diminished. In contrast, verbally aggressive behaviors tended to be manifested fairly consistently across levels of dementia with a small increase at the severest levels. Findings are discussed in relation to previous findings for nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • agitation
  • cognitive function
  • elderly
  • functional status


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