Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs > v.38(1) > 1063721

Song, Lim, and Hong: Wandering Behavior in Korean Elders with Dementia Residing in Nursing Homes



This study investigated various factors relatied to wandering behavior of Korean elders with dementia (KED).


A sample of 160 ambulatory residents with dementia from 14 long term care facilities was used to examine demographic, individual, cognitive, physical health, and environmental characteristics by comparing wanderers (N=108) to nonwanders (N=52). Subjects were evaluated by Korean versions of the Mini-mental State Exam (K-MMSE), the Physical and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (K-PIADL), and the Revised Algase Wandering Scale Nursing Home version (KRAWS-NH) along its six dimensions. Demographic and environmental data were also obtained. Independent sample t-tests, Chi-square test, Fisher's Exact tests, and ANCOVAs were used to examine differences between wanderers and nonwanders.


Wanderers were significantly (p<.05) older and had more limitations in K-PADL and K-IADL. The degree of overall wandering and certain features of wandering were significantly different (p<.05) by total number of residents in the facility, type of bedroom (i.e., "Ondol"), and color of bedroom and living-room walls (i.e., sky blue).


Findings of this study may be useful in understanding wandering behavior of KEDs and thus developing more culturally specific management strategies.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Demographic, Personal, Cognitive, and Physical Characteristics and Wandering Behavior in Elders with Dementia residing in Nursing Homes (N=160)

MMSE=Mini-mental State Exam; PADL=Physical Activities of Daily Living; IADL=Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; KRAWS-NH=Korean version of the Revised Algase Wandering Scale Nursing Home version.

Table 2
Comparison of Demographic, and Personal Characteristics between Wanderers (N=108) and Nonwanderers (N=52)

missing data excluded. *p<.05.

Table 3
Comparison of Cognitive and Physical functions between Wanderers and Nonwanderers

missing data excluded. *p<.05; p<.01; p<.001. MMSE=Mini-mental State Exam; PADL=Physical Activities of Daily Living; IADL=Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.

Table 4
Comparison of Environmental Characteristics between Wanderers (N=108) and Nonwanderers (N=52)

missing data excluded. *p<.05; p<.01; p<.001.

Table 5
Comparison of KRAWS-NH Overall and Subscale Scores by Environmental Characteristics, Controlling for Subject's Age, Physical ADL, and Instrumental ADL

missing data excluded. *p<.05; p<.01; p<.001. KRAWS-NH=Korean version of the Revised Algase Wandering Scale Nursing Home version; ADL=Activities of Daily Living.


This study was supported in part by the Center on Frail and Vulnerable Elders (COFVE), School of Nursing University of Michigan, pilot grant to Dr. Gwi-Ryung Son Hong.


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