Clarissa Shaw, PhD student, College of Nursing

Donor: Barbara and Richard Csomay Student Research Award

Project: Resistiveness in Dementia: Nurse Communication in Acute Care

Funding Year: 2019 - 2020

Project Description:

Background: Challenging behaviors in Persons with dementia (PWD) that disrupt nursing care are termed resistiveness to care (RTC).  In long-term care, the probability of RTC in PWD is increased with the use of elderspeak communication by care staff.  Despite the known detrimental impact of elderspeak communication, elderspeak has not to be explored in acute care where PWD remain at risk for health and quality related complications.

Objectives:  The objectives of this cross-sectional study are to identify and characterize elderspeak communication when enacted by acute care nursing staff and to determine the association between elderspeak communication and RTC in PWD.

Population:  30 nursing staff who are assigned to provide direct care to a consented PWD

Approach:  Nursing staffs are audio-recorded during care interactions with PWD.  Behavioral and psycholinguistic coding of recordings and transcripts are used to identify and describe elderspeak.  Concurrent behavioral observations are performed to evaluate RTC in PWD using the valid and reliable RTC Scale.

Targeted Outcomes: To provide preliminary evidence for the need for an elderspeak reduction intervention in the acute care setting.

For more information, contact Ms. Shaw.