The effects of nursing staff training intervention on the prevalence of behavior perceived as challenging by the nursing staff, nursing staff responses, and self-assessed competence in care for older people with dementia.

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Topic of the dissertation

The effects of nursing staff training intervention on the prevalence of behavior perceived as challenging by the nursing staff, nursing staff responses, and self-assessed competence in care for older people with dementia.

Doctoral candidate

Master of Health Science Paula Piirainen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management

Subject of study

Nursing science

Opponent

Title of docent Sini Eloranta, University of Turku

Custos

Title of docent Satu Elo, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

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By strengthening the competence of nursing staff, challenging situations can be reduced in the long-term care of people with dementia.

The population is aging rapidly, and with this, the number of people with memory problems is increasing strongly. Memory disorders are the most important group of diseases causing long-term need for help in the elderly. Three out of four people in long-term care have a memory disorder. Memory diseases weaken memory, information processing and other thought functions. Changes can also occur in the behavior of a person with dementia, which relatives and nursing staff may find challenging. Behavioral changes can manifest as restlessness, wandering, anxiety and shouting, causing nausea for the person with dementia.

Paula Piirainen, Master of Health Sciences, found out in her dissertation what kind of effect nursing staff continuing education has on the occurrence of challenging situations in the long-term care of people with dementia. Questionnaires were also used to find out the effect of training on the nursing staff's responses and competence in challenging situations. The staff of the nursing home in the experimental group received further training and the staff of the nursing home in the control group carried out nursing work without corresponding further training. The follow-up period of the study was one year.

According to the doctoral research, the behavior that the nursing staff perceive as challenging is common and even daily in the long-term care of people with dementia. There are indications that regular and continuous training of nursing staff could reduce challenging situations in the long-term care of people with dementia. Training can also improve the nursing staff's self-assessed competence in caring for people with dementia. The results revealed five areas of competence required in the nursing work of people with dementia: practical skills, theoretical knowledge, competence related to the therapeutic use of the self, social competence and self-management. The study concluded that the management method can promote the realization of nursing work that takes into account the needs of people with dementia.

"Nursing people with dementia requires special skills, which can be developed with the help of continuing education. The way the work unit is managed is also of great importance in what the day-to-day life of a person with dementia is like in long-term care," says the doctoral candidate.
Last updated: 1.11.2022