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2005 Grant - Levy-Storms
Improving Staff Communication With Nursing Home Residents During Mealtime
Lene Levy-Storms, Ph.D., M.P.H.
The Regents of California
Los Angeles, California
2005 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Studies have shown that as many as seventy-five percent of nursing home residents have some form of cognitive impairment or dementia. Nursing aides, who provide most care in nursing homes, usually receive relatively little training about communicating with residents with dementia. Survey findings suggest that nursing aides rank training in communication skills as a high priority.
Lene Levy-Storms, Ph.D., M.P.H., will assess the effectiveness of a training program that uses a videotape of aide-resident interactions. One hundred aides at two nursing homes will participate in the program. All of the participants will be videotaped while interacting with residents during a meal. Reviewers will rate each nursing aide on various verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors and assess the quality of engagement between residents and aides.
Half of the aides will participate in a lecture-based training program about communications skills. The other aides will attend a training program that incorporates clips of their own interactions with residents and enables them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
The investigators will then assess whether the participants in the video-based training program demonstrate a greater improvement in communication skills than those in the lecture program. Outcomes will be assessed based on ratings of post-training videotaped interactions over several months. The outcome of this study may demonstrate the utility of the training strategy to improve communication skills, enhance aide-resident interactions and contribute to more effective responses to nursing home residents' needs.