Two psychiatrists, using standardized clinical examinations, found that
21% of 125 patients newly admitted to nursing homes had delusions. The
psychiatric disorders associated with these delusions are described.
Delusional patients were more behaviorally disturbed before admission than
nondelusional patients. These behavior problems were often the reason for
admission, and they persisted after admission. Nursing home staff members
infrequently identified and often inappropriately treated delusional
patients. Since delusions are an important potentially treatable cause of
behavior problems in nursing home residents, the authors suggest ways to
improve the recognition and management of delusions.