Indexed on: 09 Jul '09Published on: 09 Jul '09Published in: Journal of Clinical Nursing
To explore the attitudes of staff caring for institutionalised dementia residents and the variables associated with these attitudes.Fourteen nursing homes and one hospital-based geriatric ward in Bergen, Norway were surveyed, using the translation of an Approach to Dementia Questionnaire. The study population (n = 291) was a mixture of registered nurses, auxiliary nurses, nursing assistants and non-trained aides.Survey.Significant differences in hope and person-centred attitudes were identified in this study. Nursing assistants, compared with registered nurses (p = 0.02), had significantly lower hope attitudes. Staff over 50 years of age reported significantly lower hope attitudes (p = 0.01) than those under 40 years of age. Staff with 10 and fewer years of work experience reported significantly lower hope attitudes (p = 0.02) than those with more than 10 years of experience. Nurses with specialised training in geriatrics, psychiatry or dementia care had significantly higher hope attitudes, compared with nurses without any special training (p = 0.04). The person-centred attitude was lower among participants who were over 50 years old, compared with their counterparts under the age of 40 (p < or = 0.01).Education, age, work experience, care unit size and specialised training are associated with differences in attitudes. We recommend that employers be proactive in encouraging and facilitating staff development by offering further training that aims to impart more positive attitudes.Improvements in staff competency levels will be more important in the future, as a result of the forecasted increase in the percentage of the population who will suffer from dementia and reside in nursing homes.