Assessing the validity of a social history intervention to individuate nursing home residents

Jennifer L. Hillman, Thomas E. Skoloda, Dolores Zander, George Stricker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a social history intervention to individualize nursing home staff members' patient perceptions in order to generate more positive attitudes toward target patients, to foster more tolerant perceptions of those patients' problem behaviors, and to maximize staff members' perceived rewards of caregiving. Unlike previous studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of such an intervention in a hypothetical setting (M. E. Pietrukowicz & M. M. Johnson, 1991), the goal of the current study was to assess the efficacy of this intervention among actual patient-staff dyads in a nursing home care unit. Findings showed that the use of the social history intervention did not produce the predicted changes in staff perceptions and attitudes among a representative sample of 42 staff members. Alternative explanations for the lack of significant findings among this sample of nursing home staff, such as employee burnout and attitudinal polarization, are presented, and suggestions for using this intervention successfully in other institutional settings are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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