Improving staff’s ability to work with challenging patient behaviours: An acute care approach

Nana Asomaning, Rebecca Ramsden, Kera Salvi, Vishaka Keshav Chetram


Background: Acute care healthcare professionals continue to see an increase in the proportion of aging, high acuity patients resulting in on-going challenges in providing person-centred, evidence-based care to patients with delirium, dementia and behavioral issues. This study evaluates the impact of a 16-hour, three-workshop program on direct care staffs’ capacity, confidence, and competence in caring for patients with behavioral issues related to delirium and dementia.

Methods: A quantitative, prospective study was designed. Workshops utilized various teaching and learning modalities to foster knowledge acquisition and skill enhancement. Participants consisted of direct care staff with a background in geriatric care.

Results: A total of 75 participants completed the workshops. Paired t-tests were conducted for survey question scores at the alpha level of 0.05. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals were assessed in addition to p-values for significance. No results were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Positive clinical significance included improved participant knowledge in dementia pathophysiology; increased awareness of the impact of care strategies on patients and families through the use of case-based application and standardized patients; and a greater integration of the concept of personhood into patient care planning.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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