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Managing behavioural symptoms of dementia : Effectiveness of staff education and peer support
journal contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Visser, M McCabe, Catherine Hudgson, G Buchanan, Tanya Davison, K George
This study was designed to investigate the impact of staff education on the behaviour and quality of life of residents with dementia and on staff members' attitudes about working with people with dementia and level of burnout. Staff from three aged care facilities participated in the study (n = 52). These facilities were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups or a control group. Staff assigned to the intervention groups received an eight-week behaviourally-based programme. Staff from one aged care facility also participated in a peer support group designed to reinforce educational material and facilitate positive changes among staff members. Behavioural symptoms displayed by residents (n = 76) in each of the facilities were also assessed. Assessments were conducted at pre-intervention, post-intervention, three- and six-month follow-up. The results of this study indicated that education or peer support was not associated with an improvement in resident behaviour or quality of life. Education or peer support also did not impact on staff members' level of burnout. There was, however, a change in staff members' attitudes about working with people with dementia. Possible explanations for these findings and implication for further research are considered.