Identifying at risk nursing home residents using a polydipsia screening tool
Persons diagnosed with schizophrenia are considered at risk for polydipsia, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by excessive consumption of fluids. This study examined the demographic and health-related characteristics of nursing home residents with psychiatric diagnoses (N = 70) who reside in a 92-bed facility. The prevalence of polydipsia and behavioral characteristics and symptoms as measured by a 17-item polydipsia screening tool also were described. Patients who screened positive for polydipsia (36%) exhibited behaviors that included incontinence, smoking, frequent voiding, and preference for fluid over food. A polydipsia screening program could minimize morbidity and mortality associated with this fairly prevalent condition.