Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Glossary of Terms
Agnosia 
Loss or impairment of the ability to recognize, understand, or interpret sensory stimuli or features of the outside world, such as shapes or symbols.

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Anhedonia 
Loss of interest in pleasurable things.

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Aphasia 
Prominent language dysfunction, affecting the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language.

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Aphasia 
Prominent language dysfunction, affecting the ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language.

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Caregiving Strategies 
Strategies within the domain of nursing that may encompass detection of a medical condition, interventions to support prevention and recovery, or the optimization of life while living with the condition.

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Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment
Includes the assessment domains of function, physical health, mental and cognitive health and socioenvironmental factors.

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DSM IV - R 
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.)

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Hyperactive Delirium
Characterized by an agitated state, constant motion, usually displaying non-purposeful, repetitive movement, and most often involving verbal behaviours (Rapp, 1998).

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Hypoactive Delirium
Characterized by an inactive, withdrawn and sluggish state, with limited, slow and wavering verbalizations (Rapp, 1998).

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Mild Depression
Presence of 5 - 6 depressive symptoms causing either a mild decrease in functioning or normal functioning that requires a greater effort (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability, 1996).

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Moderate Depression
Severity that is intermediate between mild and severe depression (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability, 1996).

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Multidisciplinary Team
Can include but is not limited to: registered nurse, advanced practice nurse/nurse specialist, registered practical nurse, physician, specialized physician such as a Geriatrician, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech/language therapist, social worker, dietitian, pharmacist, unregulated health worker, home care provider.

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Primary Prevention (also called prevention) 
Preventive measures that are aimed at public education and the dissemination of information about elders' increased risk of suicide, the risk factors associated with elderly suicide, resources available to suicidal elders, and dispelling suicide myths. Primary prevention helps to raise awareness of and to break down taboos surrounding elderly suicide (Holkup, 2002).

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Recurrent Depression 
There is increasing evidence that depression is a recurrent disorder which once diagnosed, requires monitoring, treatment(s) and interventions which will minimize relapse (NZGG, 1996). Lifetime recurrence is quite high: 50 % who have had one episode will relapse; 70 % who have had two episodes will relapse; and 90 % who have had three episodes will relapse. Therefore, continuation with treatment to avoid relapse is important (Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health, 1998; National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability, 1996).

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Secondary Prevention (also called intervention) 
Preventive measures that are implemented after suicidal tendencies or high risk conditions have become apparent. Secondary prevention strategies include identification and assessment of suicidal clients and crisis intervention. Psychotherapy is also included in the realm of secondary prevention (Holkup, 2002).

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Severe Depression 
Presence of most of the criteria symptoms and clear cut observable disability (e.g., inability to work) (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability, 1996). Psychotic features may or may not be present. These features include delusions and hallucinations (Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health, 1998).

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Suicidal Ideation 
The act of thinking and/or talking about the possibility of suicide as an option to a perceived intolerable circumstance.

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Tertiary Prevention (also called postvention) 
Measures taken to assist the family, friends or community who have been affected by an elder's suicide. Tertiary prevention is also concerned with interventions focusing on caring for elders who have survived a non-fatal suicide attempt and who are no longer suicidal, and their family members (Holkup, 2002).

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