The manifestation and nursing management of agitation in institutionalised residents with dementia

Authors

  • Diana Keatinge RN, RSCN, MAdmin, PhD,

    1. Associate Professor, Clinical Nursing Research, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Carrol Scarfe RPN,

    1. Nursing Unit Manager, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Helen Bellchambers RN, RM, CHN, GrCert(Aged Care), BM,

    1. Research Assistant, Centre for Nursing Research Practice Development, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Janine McGee EN(AdvCert),

    1. Enrolled Nurse, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Randy Oakham RN, RGN, RDDN,

    1. Registered Nurse, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Craig Probert RN, DipAppSc(Nsg),

    1. Registered Nurse, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Lee Stewart RN, RGN,

    1. Registered Nurse, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Janice Stokes EN(AdvCert)

    1. Enrolled Nurse, Buchanan Nursing Development Unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
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Correspondence: DianaKeatinge Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Fax: +612 4921 6981; Email: fnudk@cc.newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

This participatory action research study is the first formal research study undertaken by nurses in a nursing development unit. The study emerged as the result of nurses brainstorming issues that they perceived to be problematic in their nursing practice and their unit environment. The nurses of the psycho-geriatric nursing development unit, Wallsend Aged Care Facility, New South Wales, Australia identified that the management of agitated behaviour manifested by their severely demented clients was a major challenge in their practice. As a result, a pilot participatory action research study was designed to measure how agitation manifested, to measure the severity of agitation and to identify current nursing practices used to manage it and their outcome. Results of the study demonstrated that nurse actions triggered the majority of most highly rated episodes of agitated behaviour in this group of elderly residents, and that the majority of these nurse actions related to those involved in carrying out activities of daily living for the residents.

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