Knowledge of late-life depression : an empirical investigation of aged care staff
Davison, Tanya E., McCabe, Marita P., Mellor, David, Karantzas, Gery and George, Kuruvilla 2009, Knowledge of late-life depression : an empirical investigation of aged care staff, Aging and mental health, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 577-586.
Objectives: This study examined knowledge of late-life depression among staff working in residential and community aged care settings, as well as their previous training in caring for older people with depression.
Method: A sample of 320 aged care staff (mean age = 42 years) completed a survey questionnaire. Participants included direct care staff, registered nurses and Care Managers from nursing and residential homes and community aged care services.
Results: Less than half of the participating aged care staff had received any training in depression, with particularly low rates in residential care. Although aware of the importance of engaging with depressed care recipients and demonstrating moderate knowledge of the symptoms of depression, a substantial proportion of staff members saw depression as a natural consequence of bereavement, aging or relocation to aged care. Conclusion: Experience in aged care appears to be insufficient for staff to develop high levels of knowledge of depression. Specific training in depression is recommended for staff working in aged care settings in order to improve the detection and management of late-life depression, particularly among direct carers, who demonstrated least knowledge of this common disorder.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
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