Experimental study to evaluate nursing staff morale in a high stimulation geriatric psychiatry setting



This work is part of a larger study carried out at Murray Royal Hospital, Perth, Scotland. The study was concerned with staff morale under two distinct management approaches towards the care ofthe elderly patient with dementia. In one ward a dynamic, high stimulation approach was adopted including reality orientation, reminiscence therapy and socialization therapy. This was run in a well-structured manner by the ward staff and other agents. The other ward had no such structure imposed and was left to carry out ‘traditional’ nursing care to a high standard. The tool used to collect the data was a precoded questionnaire developed by Jones & Galliard. The hypothesis on which the study was based was as follows, ‘that morale is increased in nursing staff involved in a high stimulation ward environment for the hospitalized elderly patient with dementia’. The findings ofthe study appear to indicate that the hypothesis is supported. It appears that the imposition ofthe structured high stimulation management approach was responsible for such an outcome and that nursing staff respond well to such an approach.