Deakin University
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A study protocol to investigate the management of depression and challenging behaviors associated with dementia in aged care settings

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posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by M McCabe, David MellorDavid Mellor, Tanya Davison, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas, Kathryn Von TreuerKathryn Von Treuer, D O'Connor
The high occurrence and under-treatment of clinical depression and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) within aged care settings is concerning, yet training programs aimed at improving the detection and management of these problems have generally been ineffective. This article presents a study protocol to evaluate a training intervention for facility managers/registered nurses working in aged care facilities that focuses on organisational processes and culture as well as knowledge, skills and self-efficacy.

A Randomised Control Trial (RCT) will be implemented across 18 aged care facilities (divided into three conditions). Participants will be senior registered nurses and personal care attendants employed in the aged care facility. The first condition will receive the training program (Staff as Change Agents - Enhancing and Sustaining Mental Health in Aged Care), the second condition will receive the training program and clinical support, and the third condition will receive no intervention.

Pre-, post-, 6-month and 12-month follow-up measures of staff and residents will be used to demonstrate how upskilling clinical leaders using our transformational training approach, as well as the use of a structured screening, referral and monitoring protocol, can address the mental health needs of older people in residential care.

The expected outcome of this study is the validation of an evidence-based training program to improve the management of depression and BPSD among older people in residential care settings by establishing routine practices related to mental health. This relatively brief but highly focussed training package will be readily rolled out to a larger number of residential care facilities at a relatively low cost.



BMC Geriatics




Article 95


1 - 6


BioMed Central


United Kingdom





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, BioMed Central