Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

Life History Collages: Effects on Nursing Home Staff Caring for Residents with Dementia

Bill Buron, PhD, RNC, GNP/FNP-BC

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of person-centered life history collages on nursing staff knowledge about individual residents living with dementia and staff perceptions of individualized care practices. Thirty-six nursing staff participants (18 experimental and 18 control) who cared for 5 residents with dementia in two nursing homes were recruited. Intervention staff members were exposed to life history collages for 4 weeks. Pretest and posttest data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and analysis of covariance. While intervention group members’ knowledge of residents’ family, jobs/careers, and likes/dislikes/interests improved significantly at posttest, F(3, 26) = 6.80, p < 0.01, and at 3 weeks postintervention, F(3, 23) = 9.85, p < 0.001, perceptions of individualized care/person-centered care practices did not. Potential reasons for this lack of improvement are identified and discussed. Directions for future research are also provided.

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of person-centered life history collages on nursing staff knowledge about individual residents living with dementia and staff perceptions of individualized care practices. Thirty-six nursing staff participants (18 experimental and 18 control) who cared for 5 residents with dementia in two nursing homes were recruited. Intervention staff members were exposed to life history collages for 4 weeks. Pretest and posttest data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and analysis of covariance. While intervention group members’ knowledge of residents’ family, jobs/careers, and likes/dislikes/interests improved significantly at posttest, F(3, 26) = 6.80, p < 0.01, and at 3 weeks postintervention, F(3, 23) = 9.85, p < 0.001, perceptions of individualized care/person-centered care practices did not. Potential reasons for this lack of improvement are identified and discussed. Directions for future research are also provided.

Dr. Buron is Assistant Professor, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a 2009 graduate from the PhD in nursing program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The author discloses that he has no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity. This study was graciously supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity award program.

The author acknowledges the generous support of his dissertation committee: Dr. Cornelia Beck (Chair), Dr. Catherine Cole, Dr. George Denny, Dr. Sunghee Tak, and Dr. Pao-Feng Tsai. He also acknowledges Dr. Elaine Souder for her help with the development of the initial ideas presented in this article. The author thanks the resident participants, families, nursing staff participants, and administrators for their time and contributions. The author also acknowledges and thanks his wife Jennifer and children, Becka and Will, for their ongoing support.

Address correspondence to Bill Buron, PhD, RNC, GNP/FNP-BC, Assistant Professor, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, 217 Ozark Hall, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701; e-mail: bburon@uark.edu.

Received: April 25, 2009
Accepted: March 04, 2010

Posted Online: June 28, 2010

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Authors

Dr. Buron is Assistant Professor, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a 2009 graduate from the PhD in nursing program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The author discloses that he has no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity. This study was graciously supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity award program.

Address correspondence to Bill Buron, PhD, RNC, GNP/FNP-BC, Assistant Professor, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, 217 Ozark Hall, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701; e-mail: .bburon@uark.edu

10.3928/00989134-20100602-01

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