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Link between aged care home staff dementia knowledge and experiences caring for people with dementia


Lea, E and Page, K and Neville, L and Robinson, A and Doherty, K, Link between aged care home staff dementia knowledge and experiences caring for people with dementia, 4th Annual NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) Australian Dementia Forum, 13-14 June, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Conference Extract]

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Working with people living with dementia in residential aged care can be challenging, which is exacerbated by low levels of dementia knowledge. This study investigated the relationship between aged care home staff knowledge of dementia and strain in caring for people with dementia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2017 in three southern Australian aged care homes. Ninety-six staff (53% of staff on shift over a 24-hour period) participated, including nurses, care workers and hospitality staff (i.e. those involved directly and indirectly in care). The questionnaire contained the Dementia Knowledge Assessment Scale and Strain in Dementia Care Scale. Bivariate analyses examined the relationships between scales, subscales and individual item scores. Dementia knowledge was found to be moderate (32.6/50) and strain in dementia care low (4.03/16). A positive relationship was found between dementia knowledge and strain in dementia care - i.e. the higher the knowledge, the higher the strain - particularly with regards to feeling that residents were not receiving appropriate care. The overall relationship between knowledge and strain was weak in staff in direct compared to non-direct care roles. The findings suggest aged care home staff have gaps in their dementia knowledge, but more comprehensive knowledge is also associated with higher strain in the context of perceived lapses in care quality. Further investigation is required on the impact of role on this relationship. However, it may be that employment of a whole-of-organisation approach to increasing dementia knowledge among as many staff as possible is important to minimise strain on individuals.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:aged care homes, dementia, aged care workforce
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lea, E (Dr Emma Lea)
UTAS Author:Page, K (Mrs Kim Page)
UTAS Author:Robinson, A (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Doherty, K (Dr Kathleen Doherty)
ID Code:133845
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2019-07-11
Last Modified:2019-07-15
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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