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The Relationship between Size of Core Network and Frequency of Contacts with Agitation and Positive Affect in Older Adults with Dementia.

  • Al Ghassani, Amal1
  • Rababa, Mohammad2
  • 1 Community and Mental Health Department, Oman College of Health Sciences, Muscat, Oman. , (Oman)
  • 2 Adult Health Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan, [email protected] , (Jordan)
Published Article
Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders
Publication Date
Sep 08, 2021
DOI: 10.1159/000518715
PMID: 34518451


Few studies have explored the associations of agitation symptoms among older adults with core network size and with frequency of contact with core network care providers. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of agitation and affect among older adult people with dementia (PWD) with core network size and frequency of contact with core network care providers. A convenience sample of 98 Omani older adult PWD residing in their homes was recruited. Most of the participants (63.3%) were female, and the mean age of the participants was 80 years (standard deviation = 9.0). A total of 77 participants suffered from severe dementia, while the remaining 21 had mild to moderate dementia levels. Valid and reliable instruments completed by either the participating PWD or their caregivers were used to measure the study variables. The main hypothesis of the study was not supported, whereby core network size and frequency of contact with the core network were not found to be significantly associated with activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL) core networks or agitation and affect. Further, the findings indicated no significant associations between core network size or closeness between PWD and their IADL and ADL caregivers and the amount of ADL and IADL care provided. The level of care provided by the caregivers and the participants' frequency of contact with the core network remained consistent throughout the progress of the dementia patients' conditions. The findings of this study are incongruent with the findings of studies conducted in Western countries, which have reported that older adults prefer to have meaningful interactions with small, close social networks as opposed to large networks. Our findings may be explained by the strong cultural values in Oman which place great emphasis on caring for elderly family members. It is essential to understand these relationships in order to develop effective home care interventions for older adult PWD in Oman. © 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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