Staff Training to Manage Aggressive Resident Behaviors

Period of Performance: 09/15/2007 - 06/30/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc.
EUGENE, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The proposed project will develop an interactive multi-media training program for professional caregivers who are regularly subjected to aggressive behaviors by older adults in long term care facilities (LTCs; Gates, Fitzwater, & Succop, 2005). Staff training is needed to comply both with OSHA guidelines to protect workers from workplace violence, and OBRA regulations governing nursing assistant education in mental health and social services. Program modules will present 1) a prevention approach for dealing with aggression, 2) specific communication and management techniques for use when a resident is agitated or aggressive, 3) individual and team-based strategies for situations where resident aggression is a threat to the safety of other residents or to staff, 4) techniques for caregiver emotional self-care after an incident has occurred, 5) general information on dementia-care and related issues. An additional password protected module for administrators will explain the cost benefits of effective training and of an organizational culture that promotes a person centered care philosophy to prevent problem behaviors. The interactive multimedia format is particularly well-suited for staff training of this type because it has been shown to be effective (Irvine, Bourgeois, & Ary, 2003), and it is not staff-intensive to implement. Users will move through the program at their own pace, which is a beneficial feature for individuals with limited education or reading ability. The skill-based instructional design will include interactive tutorials. The competency-based instructional design, built around modeling in realistic video vignettes, will advance users when the material is understood, and will automatically review content not initially mastered. Summary printouts of program content for users and documentation of training progress for supervisors will be supplied. The Phase I prototype program showed significant effects in a randomized trial on the Internet. The Phase II product will be developed in Internet and CD-ROM/DVD-ROM formats with a workbook available to facilitate both individual and group usage. It will be evaluated with a large randomized trial (n=300). Professional caregivers in long term care facility are regularly subjected to workplace violence in the form of aggressive resident behaviors. The proposed program will give caregiving staff the skills to recognize and prevent symptoms that often lead to aggressive behaviors. Staff will also gain skills to deal with aggression that does occur in ways to maximize safety of both the resident and the caregiver.