The objective of this study was to (a) determine the prevalence of cognitive impairment, dementia, and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) among home-dwelling people, 70 years and older (70+ years), who receive domiciliary care, and (b) describe their use of psychotropic drugs. Few studies have investigated dementia among people receiving in-home care.
A sample (N = 1,000) representative of people aged 70+ years receiving domiciliary care was randomly recruited for participation. A standardized interview with the participants and their next of kin were performed using well-established assessment scales. Two clinical experts independently diagnosed dementia according to ICD-10 criteria.
Of the 415 participants (41.5%) with dementia according to ICD-10 criteria, 19.5% had a dementia diagnosis known to the patient themselves, their caregiver, or health workers in the domiciliary care service. In the previous month, 72.1% exhibited NPSs (21.1% rated as clinically significant), with depression (47.5%), apathy (33.7%), anxiety (33.0%), and irritability (31.1%) being the most common. Psychotropic drugs were regularly used by 40.1% of the sample. Antidepressants (p = 0.001) and cognitive enhancers (p