2021 Sigma Grantee

Sigma Theta Tau – CANS Grant

Advancing Methods of Measurement and Education for Communication in Dementia Care

Clarissa A. Shaw, MSN, University of Iowa College of Nursing

Background:  Reducing elderspeak in nursing homes decreases behavioral symptoms of persons living with dementia (PLWD). Expanding education on elderspeak to other settings, like acute care, is essential to achieving person-centered care. However, conducting research in acute care with PLWD is challenging due short hospitalizations and busy environments. Simulation for research and education offers an innovative solution to meet these challenges.

Subject Population:  Nursing staff (N=15) who have been previously audio-recorded during hospital care of actual PLWD will complete a series of dementia care simulations. Research Design: A convergent mixed-methods approach will determine which methods of simulation best capture communication in dementia care. Instrument: An evidenced-based elderspeak coding scheme and semi-structured debriefing guide.

Procedure:  A series of dementia care simulations using different simulation methods (lowfidelity, high-fidelity mannequin, and high-fidelity standardized patient) will be designed by experts in dementia care and simulation. Nursing staff who have been previously recorded caring for PLWD will be audio-recorded completing these simulations. The audio-recordings will be coded and quantitatively compared. The simulation debriefings will be qualitatively analyzed using qualitative content analysis. This innovative study will determine which method of simulation best captures communication in dementia care. The findings will advance research and education in dementia care.