Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Cassy L. Taylor
Patients with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia often require long-term care in nursing facilities (NF) where they may display out-of-character behaviors complicating their care. While antipsychotic medications are sometimes prescribed for NF residents, their use is considered inappropriate for the control of dementia behaviors. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have rated Texas the worst state in the country for the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications for NF residents with dementia. This project was guided by the star model of knowledge transformation with the goal to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications through NF staff education. The purpose of this project was to develop an educational program for nurses, direct care staff, pharmacists, and prescribers regarding appropriate use of antipsychotic medications, reduction efforts, alternative non pharmacological interventions, and an associated toolkit of educational resources. The program development was accomplished in conjunction with a team of local experts who provided process evaluation regarding their satisfaction with the planning process through the completion of an anonymous, 10-question, Likert-type survey. All participants scored their results with a (5) strongly agree or (4) agree. A descriptive analysis of the survey data provided information that positively supported the development of the project. At the end of the project, the education program and resources were delivered to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, with a plan for later implementation and outcome evaluation. This project has the potential to achieve positive social change through reducing the numbers of Texan NF residents with dementia who are inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic medications, which will result in an increase in their quality of life.