HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 27-29, 2022 | Orlando, USA

October 27 -29, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA
NWC 2022

Carolyn Harkey

Speaker at  Nursing World Conference 2022 - Carolyn Harkey
Western Carolina University, United States
Title : Quality improvement in pharmacological treatment for dementia patients an integrative literature review


Aim: To determine the appropriate nonpharmacological interventions and pharmacological treatments that are beneficial for dementia patients, and how and when they should be initiated or discontinued.

Background:  Alzheimer’s dementia is a progressive, disabling disease that affects approximately 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older every year.  Historically, Alzheimer’s dementia was treated with antipsychotics.

Methodology:  Whittemore and Knafl methodological approach to integrative literature reviews was used.  A search resulted in 18 empirical and theoretical articles on the pharmacologic management of dementia patients.

Findings:  Nonpharmacological interventions which include identification and removal of triggers, effective communication, and treatment of underlying medical conditions should be used as the first line of treatment.  Medications should only be initiated when dementia patients pose a threat to themselves, the caregiver, or if nonpharmacological interventions fail.  The medication should be initiated at the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time and reassessed at least annually or more frequently as necessary.

Recommendations:  Establishment of standardized care plans for Alzheimer’s dementia, combined with continued research in management and treatment are needed.  Education is needed to alleviate the danger to patients and caregivers.


Carolyn Harkey started her nursing journey at South Piedmont Community College where she obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2010.  She then continued her education at Western Carolina University where she obtained a BSN in 2017 and an MSN in 2021.  In 2015, she obtained certification as a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse and in 2021 obtained Certified Nurse Manager and Leader certification.  Currently, she works with Alzheimer’s patients and assists in clinical trials to hopefully one day find a cure for this disabling disease.