To determine whether auditory hallucinations in community-dwelling people with dementia (PwD) living in the community impacted on quality of life (QoL), subjective wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Cross-sectional cohort study.
Settings and participants
1251 community-dwelling PwD and caregivers were included in this study.
Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire completed by caregiver interview. Mean differences between the absence and presence of auditory hallucinations were compared to scores on three validated measures of living well: QoL in Alzheimer’s disease scale (QoL-AD), World Health Organization-Five Well-being Index and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Analysis of covariance determined the confounding contributions of cognition via Mini-Mental State Examination, depression via Geriatric Depression Scale-10, caregiver stress via Relative Stress Scale and whether antipsychotic drugs were prescribed.
Auditory hallucinations were associated with lower scores for QoL (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.01), wellbeing (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.02) and life satisfaction (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.01). After controlling for background measures, which were potential confounds, the relationship between auditory hallucinations and QoL (p = 0.04, pη2 = 0.01) and wellbeing (p < 0.000, pη2 = 0.02) remained significant but there was no significant association with life satisfaction.
Auditory hallucinations are associated with lower QoL and wellbeing in PwD living in the community. This has implications for targeted therapies in PwD with psychotic symptoms.
Choi, A, Ballard, C, Martyr, A, Collins, R, Morris, RG, Clare, L. The impact of auditory hallucinations on “living well” with dementia: Findings from the IDEAL programme. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2021; 36( 9): 1370– 1377.