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JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Health problems and care needs in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome: A systematic review

Mirjam Johanna van Dam, Berno van Meijel, Albert Postma, Erik Oudman
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2019 December 26
31876326
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome suffer from a broad range of comorbid somatic and/or psychiatric conditions. The various health problems in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome limit their ability to perform daily activities and also negatively affect their social functioning. WHAT THE PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome have complex somatic and psychiatric comorbid conditions co-occurring with behavioural and functional problems. They are compounded by patients' poor self-awareness regarding their health status and functioning. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: This review demonstrates that patients with Korsakoff's syndrome should receive integrated care. Integrated care for patients with Korsakoff's syndrome should be based on accurate multidimensional and multidisciplinary diagnostics in which nurses and nurse assistants have a prominent role due to their central position in the care process patients with Korsakoff's syndrome. ABSTRACT: Introduction The literature shows that Korsakoff's syndrome is associated with a wide range of severe comorbid somatic and psychiatric health problems that lead to care needs in several domains of functioning. Aim To provide a comprehensive overview of Korsakoff patients' health conditions and related care needs. Method Following the PRISMA guidelines, we searched MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Cochrane Library and CINAHL up to January 2019. After applying our inclusion criteria, two reviewers independently selected the studies, extracted the data and assessed methodological quality. Results Twelve articles were included. The commonest somatic comorbid conditions were liver disease, cardiovascular disease, COPD and diabetes mellitus. The commonest psychiatric comorbid conditions were mood disorder, personality disorder and psychotic disorder. Anxiety, aggressive/agitated behaviour, depressive symptoms and care needs in social functioning and (instrumental) activities of daily living were also very commonly reported. Discussion In patients with Korsakoff's syndrome, somatic and psychiatric comorbid conditions co-occur with behavioural and functional problems. They are compounded by patients' poor self-awareness regarding their health status and functioning. Adequate responses to their care needs require high-quality integrated care. Implications for practice Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome should receive integrated care based on accurate multidimensional and multidisciplinary diagnostics in which nurses have a prominent role.

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