Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Technology Innovations 

Feasibility of Internet Training for Care Staff of Residents with Dementia: The Cares® Program

John V. Hobday, MA; Kay Savik, MS; Stan Smith, MD; Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD

Abstract

This study evaluated an Internet-based training module, CARES® (Connect with the resident; Assess behavior; Respond appropriately; Evaluate what works; Share with the team), to determine its feasibility for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in three nursing homes and one assisted living facility. Pre- and posttest questionnaires were administered to 40 CNAs to determine improvements in dementia care knowledge and perceptions of competence in dementia care. Dementia care knowledge improved significantly after CARES training. More than 85% of the sample agreed or strongly agreed that the CARES protocol improved mastery, improved care competency, and reduced stress related to care of residents with dementia. Open-ended feedback indicated that CARES provided CNAs with new information and skills pertaining to dementia care. The results suggest that Internet-based programs such as CARES represent time- and cost-efficient methods to deliver dementia care training in long-term care settings.

Abstract

This study evaluated an Internet-based training module, CARES® (Connect with the resident; Assess behavior; Respond appropriately; Evaluate what works; Share with the team), to determine its feasibility for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in three nursing homes and one assisted living facility. Pre- and posttest questionnaires were administered to 40 CNAs to determine improvements in dementia care knowledge and perceptions of competence in dementia care. Dementia care knowledge improved significantly after CARES training. More than 85% of the sample agreed or strongly agreed that the CARES protocol improved mastery, improved care competency, and reduced stress related to care of residents with dementia. Open-ended feedback indicated that CARES provided CNAs with new information and skills pertaining to dementia care. The results suggest that Internet-based programs such as CARES represent time- and cost-efficient methods to deliver dementia care training in long-term care settings.

Mr. Hobday is Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Smith was formally Medical Director, and Dr. Gaugler is a scientific consultant, HealthCare Interactive Incorporated (developer and distributor of the CARES® training protocol), Edina, Minnesota. Ms. Savik is Co-Investigator and Biostatistician on National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant 1R43AG023451-01. Dr. Gaugler is Associate Professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. Hobday is employed by HealthCare Interactive Incorporated. Dr. Gaugler is a paid consultant of HealthCare Interactive Incorporated. This research was supported by a grant from the NIA (1R43AG023451-01; J.V. Hobday, Principal Investigator). For a demonstration of the CARES program, visit http://www.hcinteractive.com/35.

Address correspondence to Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, Associate Professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail: gaug0015@umn.edu.

Received: June 24, 2009
Accepted: January 12, 2010

Posted Online: March 23, 2010

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Authors

Mr. Hobday is Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Smith was formally Medical Director, and Dr. Gaugler is a scientific consultant, HealthCare Interactive Incorporated (developer and distributor of the CARES® training protocol), Edina, Minnesota. Ms. Savik is Co-Investigator and Biostatistician on National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant 1R43AG023451-01. Dr. Gaugler is Associate Professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. Hobday is employed by HealthCare Interactive Incorporated. Dr. Gaugler is a paid consultant of HealthCare Interactive Incorporated. This research was supported by a grant from the NIA (1R43AG023451-01; J.V. Hobday, Principal Investigator). For a demonstration of the CARES program, visit http://www.hcinteractive.com/35.

Address correspondence to Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, Associate Professor and McKnight Presidential Fellow, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail: .gaug0015@umn.edu

10.3928/00989134-20100302-01

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