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2010 Grants - Gitlin
Managing Behavior in Nursing Homes: Innovative Intervention and Methods
Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
2010 Non-Pharmacological Strategies to Ameliorate Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
The Tailored Activity Program for Nursing Homes (TAP-NH) involves identifying cognitive functional capabilities; previous roles, habits and interests of people with dementia; developing customized meaningful activities that match functional capacity; and training certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in specific techniques (e.g., communication) to effectively engage people with dementia in activities tailored to their abilities.
Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D. proposes to evaluate the feasibility and proof of principle of this innovative intervention for persons with dementia living in nursing homes (NHs). TAP-NH aims to enhance the skills of front-line workers involved in the daily care of people with dementia, and integrate the roles of activity therapists and family members to support and reinforce appropriate activity use.
The research team also proposes a novel observational methodology to evaluate the quality of treatment provided by CNAs and behavioral change of people with dementia using handheld event recorders and the Observer computer software system. More than 600 real-time observations of CNA interactions will be obtained before, during and after the TAP-NH program.
The refinement of behavioral observation methods to assess treatment and behavioral outcomes would represent an important advancement in nonpharmacologic interventions that may reduce behavioral symptoms for people with dementia.