Cost-effectiveness of evidence-based approaches for reducing behaviours and symptoms associated with dementia

Project Investigators Dr. Claire Burley, Prof. Henry Brodaty AO, Gill Livingstone (UK), Anders Wimo (Sweden), Martin Knapp (UK), Richard Norman (Western Australia)


Program Overview:

While dementia is defined as cognitive decline leading to functional impairment, behaviours and psychological symptoms (BPSD; also referred to as ‘neuropsychiatric symptoms’, ‘changed behaviours’, ‘behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia’, ‘responsive behaviours’; see Cunningham and colleagues)1 which become almost universal as dementia becomes more severe, often cause more distress to people with dementia and their families and account for much of the cost (see Lancet commission).2 Symptoms comprise aggression, agitation, anxiety, apathy, depression, disinhibited behaviours, nocturnal disruption, psychotic symptoms, vocally disruptive behaviours, and wandering.

Behaviours and psychological symptoms are a key driver of the rapidly escalating social and economic costs of dementia globally. This project poses the question: Do the economic benefits of non–pharmacological approaches in preventing and managing BPSD outweigh the costs?

This work has been presented at the Dementia Australia Forum (ADF) 2019 and the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020. The research was published in International Psychogeriatrics, 2020.