A transcultural study of agitation in dementia

Jong Ling Fuh*, M. S. Mega, G. Binetti, S. J. Wang, E. Magni, J. L. Cummings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Agitation is one of the most troublesome behaviors in demented patients. It is etiologically heterogeneous and has varied associated behaviors. To explore the transcultural differences in the manifestation of agitation, we evaluated 50 consecutive Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients in three countries (Taiwan, Italy, and the United States) using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). In a focused analysis, only patients with composite NPI scores > 2 for agitation were selected, with similar levels of disease severity as measured by the MMSE, from the three groups (n = 15 per group) to evaluate culturally specific correlates of agitation. Agitated Taiwanese had significantly more hallucinations than either Italian or American patients. Agitated Italian patients had significantly more apathy than both Taiwanese and American patients. Cultural factors may influence the manifestation of agitation more than a common underlying neuropathology. Management strategies targeting unique behavioral instigators of agitation may be specific for different ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-174
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


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