Videoconferencing Between Hospital Clinicians, Nursing Home Staff Offers New Dementia Treatment

June 6, 2016

Nursing homes in the United States care for increasing numbers of people with dementia, yet many lack access to geriatric psychiatrists, behavioral neurologists and other specialists who may help manage symptoms associated with dementia, including behavioral issues. As a result, nursing home staff may resort to physical restraints or antipsychotic medications to manage behavioral challenges, which can significantly compromise a patient's health, autonomy and dignity.

A new study, led by clinician researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Hebrew SeniorLife and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, has found that use of video consultation technology that brings together nursing home staff and hospital-based clinical experts was associated with significant reductions in the use of physical restraints and antipsychotic medication among patients with dementia.