To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article "Reality Orientation and Validation Therapy" that was published in June Journal of Gerontological Nursing 1993; 19(6):7-11), by Susan Scanland and Linda Emershaw. The writers state that validation has not been researched since 1986; it is important that your readers be informed about the research and development of validation during the past 7 years.
Our 1992 revised edition of "Validation: The Fell Method" and the 1993 publication "The Validation Breakthrough" (both of which were published by Health Professional Press, a division of Brooks Publishing Co.) references this material. Please inform your readers of the following research and development of validation since 1986:
* 1988- Alan Johns, PhD, and Colin Sharp, PhD. "Using Validation at South Port Community Nursing Home in Australia";
* 1992-Francois Blanchard, Jean Prentczynski, Catherine Wong, Bernard Lamaze, Isabella Morrone, Patrick Bocquet, and Damien Jolly. "Using Validation at a University Hospital in France";
* 1992-C. Bleathman, and I. Morton. "Validation Therapy: Extract from 20 Groups With Dementia Sufferers."
* 1993- The New York State Department of Health and Bureau of Long Term Care have funded a $250,000 grant to the Child's Nursing Home in Albany, New York. The results will be evaluated by researchers of the Ringler Institute of Gerontology.
* 1993- Scott Averill, administrator of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area Nursing Homes, reports, "Staff turnover has fallen markedly. Prior to introducing validation, our annual turnover was 170%. It decreased more than 80% the first year we began validation, and has remained at the lower level in the second year."
* 1992-Sheldon Pinsky, Family Therapist, measured the effects of validation on the following observable behaviors: yelling, combativeness with other residents; combativeness with staff; agitation; restlessness; delusions; paranoia; repetitive physical movements (eg, wandering, picking up imaginary objects); depression; and anxiety.
* 1992 - Mary Bayer, coowner of the Sandy River Alliance Nursing Care Centers, reports, "Because of validation, our residents need not fear becoming the 'living dead' people seen in nursing homes around the world."
Last month, the European Validation Association was formed. The Dutch Validation Foundation, the Australian Validation Center, the Arbeitsgruppe Validation in Vienna, and the Validation Association in France, are teaching centers that are implementing validation throughout their countries. Validation books and films have been translated into Dutch, German, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and French.
Finally, validation involves more than respecting the reality of the very disoriented old person. Validation includes more than 14 specific helping techniques that are used with both individuals or in a validation group. The validation worker must be trained by a skilled validation therapist for at least 6 months in order to conduct a validation group that can be useful for research purposes. Because validation has helped restore more than 7,000 institutions, reduce staff burnout and turnover, restore dignity, and lessen the need for chemical restraints for Alzheimertype populations, it is important that professionals and families are aware of its development.