Hospital staff lacks knowledge and skills in dementia care. There is a need to understand how person‐centered care theory can be operationalized in staff’s practices to improve dementia care.
To describe the staff’s experiences of learning and applying the Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) to enact person‐centered care in a hospital.
Mixed methods, including posteducation survey and focus groups, were used. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes that describe participants’ experiences.
310 staff and leaders in a hospital participated in the GPA education and completed a posteducation survey (n=297). After one year, two follow‐up focus groups were conducted with interdisciplinary staff (n=24) across medicine and mental health programs. Our analysis identified three themes to enable person‐centered care: (1) changing attitudes, (2) changing practices, and (3) changing conditions.
This study contributes to the literature by providing evidence of how an education program was implemented in a large Canadian hospital to build capacity for dementia care. Joint education for interprofessional staff offers value in enabling person‐centered care.
Mental health nurses are in position to lead dementia education and advocate for person‐centered care in hospitals. Staff need structural support to engage in team learning for practice improvement.