- Staff and relative perspectives on patient aggression in dementia care units are seriously under researched in the UK.
- We interviewed a number of nursing staff and relatives in four UK care homes in the North West of England.
- Using a combined approach of one-to-one interviews (for staff) and focus groups (for relatives) we explored their views as to the reasons for and ways of responding to aggressive behaviour.
- Using thematic analysis we found similar results from both staff and relatives and as such their views were categorized into two broad areas: causation and management.
- The results indicated that staff in the participating units embraced a person-centred approach to aggression management. They predominantly respond to aggressive incidents with interpersonal strategies, such as distraction as opposed to medication or restraint.
- Relatives were clear in their perceptions of aggression as an interpersonal challenge, which is compounded or mediated by the illness of dementia. Consequently they were positive in their views of staff using non-coercive interventions.