Title

Assessing Nursing Assistants' Knowledge of Behavioral Approaches to Mental Health Problems

Publication Date

1991

Journal

The Gerontologist

Volume

31

Issue

3

First Page

309

Last Page

317

Abstract

Nurse's aides are the primary caregivers in nursing homes, a major receiving site for elders with behavioral and psychiatric problems. We describe the development, psychometric properties, and utility of a brief instrument designed to assess aides' knowledge of three specific mental health problems (depression, agitation, and disorientation) and behavioral approaches to them. The instrument was administered to 191 nurse's aides and 21 clinicians with training in behavioral management and experience with older residents. The nurse's aides averaged 11 of 17 correct answers, and the clinicians averaged 15 of 17 correct answers. Implications for staff training and consultation activities in nursing homes are discussed.

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