Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (provided by applicant) Greater than half of the 4 million elders
afflicted with dementia suffer from agitated and passive behaviors. These
behaviors are a major source of caregiver stress and are associated with
nursing home placement, use of restraints and functional decline. Nurses
currently lack adequate scientific or theoretical bases for prescribing
approaches that successfully respond to these behaviors. Some evidence exists
that therapeutic recreational activities help but little is know about their
mechanism of effect. The long-term goal of this project is to improve the
scientific basis for prescription of therapeutic recreational activities for
persons with dementia with the ultimate goal of improving symptom control and
quality of life. The project will test an intervention theory that combines the
Need-driven Dementia-compromised Behavior Model, a mid-range theory of dementia
behaviors, and a treatment theory of activity effectiveness. Recreational
activities are tailored to match elders' background profile as described in the
model, i.e. pre-morbid personality traits, cognitive ability, and physical
ability and are prescribed based on interest and skill level. Thirty nursing
home residents with moderately severe dementia will be enrolled in this project
that uses a cross-over experimental design to test the following hypotheses:
When exposed to theory-based activities, H1: Subjects will exhibit greater
engagement as measured by time on task; H2; Subjects will exhibit greater calm
alertness as measured by heart rate variability; H3: Subjects will exhibit more
positive affect, less negative affect and report more positive mood state; H4:
Subjects will exhibit fewer dementia behaviors. We will compare outcomes during
treatment to those obtained during baseline, and two control conditions:
activities matched to skill level only and activities matched to interest level
only. Findings from this study will add to our knowledge of how best to
prescribe therapeutic activities for persons with dementia and will also help
refine our knowledge about the adequacy of Need-driven Dementia-compromised
Behavior Model for intervention derivation.
Effective start/end date1/1/0212/31/03


  • National Institute of Nursing Research: $141,400.00


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