Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The increased prevalence of cognitive deterioration has increased the challenges of caring for older adults. This study's project site offers a psychiatric program for older adults with customized care for complex geriatric mental health patients. Clinical assessment and care management are often overlooked in geriatric mental health patients diagnosed with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). The purpose of this project was to deliver an education program developed from the Staff Training in Assisted Living Residences-Veterans Administration, P.I.E.C.E.S model and the Castle framework to 42 nursing and allied health staff of the project site. The project question explored whether an education program on care of patients with BPSD increased staff members' perceived knowledge and competence in providing care to these patients. This education program focused on comprehensive assessment, individualized care planning, and individualized nonpharmacological interventions to manage older adults with dementia. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze performance outcomes data before and after staff education. In addition, care plans of patients were reviewed. Results included a 100% increase in recognition of core concepts of the education program; a 48% to 86% increase in staff willingness to use interdisciplinary care plans; and a 6.6% to 95% increase in documentation of key interventions in care plans for 6 behaviors of dementia. The results of this project might bring about social change by improving the skills and competence of nursing staff in managing the patients with dementia, thus positively impacting the quality of life of patients with BPSD by benefiting from nonpharmacological interventions.