OBJECTIVES: Evidence-based treatment of dementia includes pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods of which psycho-social interventions are an important component, commonly administered by occupational therapists. The aim of this study was to investigate the utilization of occupational therapy (OT) services and its association with survival in people taking dementia-specific medication in a population-based Austrian dataset compared to a two times as large control group without dementia-specific medication.
METHODS/DESIGN: A retrospective study with a 13-year observation period (2003-2016) was conducted on real-world data. Two stratifications were done and we used descriptive statistics, Chi-squared/Fisher's Exact Tests and survival analyses including three Cox models.
RESULTS: Data from 286,553 participants were analysed. Only 4.5% (n = 12,950) received OT services. In the dementia-medication group (n = 111,033), participants who received OT services (3.6%; n = 4032) had significantly more comorbidities (4.7%) compared to those without OT (3.5%; p < 0.001) and were also more likely to be male (4 vs. 3.5%; p < 0.001). While persons taking dementia-specific medication showed a slightly reduced survival with OT (p < 0.001) compared to those without, the result in the control group without dementia-specific medication showed a slightly better result of the participants who received OT (p < 0.001). The reduced survival in the dementia-medication group with OT is likely to be related to the higher number of comorbidities in this group.
CONCLUSION: People receiving dementia-specific medication were more likely to receive OT if they had additional comorbidities, however our analysis showed that utilization of OT services in Austria was very low indicating an overall insufficient accessibility of OT services for patients who needed it.
- Dementia/drug therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Retrospective Studies
- dementia-specific medication
- Austrian population-based data
- occupational therapy
- retrospective study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental Health