Relationship of care staff attitudes with social well-being and challenging behavior of nursing home residents with dementia: a cross sectional study [2018]

Objectives: This study investigates the relationship between attitudes of care staff and social well-being and challenging behavior of residents in long-term dementia care.

Methods: The study was based on a cross-sectional design using questionnaires. Care staff members (N = 291) of 15 long-term care facilities in the Netherlands completed the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire. Additionally, the primary professional caregiver of each participating resident (N = 239) completed an observational questionnaire regarding that resident’s behavior, which contained the scale for Social Wellbeing Of Nursing home residents and the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory. Data were analyzed using multilevel analyses, taking characteristics of residents into account.

Results: Attitudes of care staff towards residents with dementia differed between facilities. Further, residents experienced more social well-being and displayed less challenging behavior in facilities where care staff had more hopeful attitudes.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates a relationship between attitudes of care staff and resident well-being. The results indicate that it is important to address attitudes towards residents with dementia in the education of (future) care staff. Care processes may also be improved by focusing on the attitudes of care staff. In this way, the well-being of residents with dementia can potentially be improved as well.

D. L. Gerritsen, A. P. A. van Beek & R. T. Woods
Aging & Mental Health, 08 Nov 2018