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Mental illness training on the Internet for nurse aides: a replication study

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  • This study was reviewed and met NIH Internal Review Board criteria as acceptable research that presented minimal risk to human subjects. It was then designated as ‘Exempt’ from further review as per rule US Federal rule 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2).

Abstract

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  • Research shows that Internet training for direct care workers in long-term care facilities is effective, but little is known about how it works in a non-research setting, and if an available training programme would continue to be used.
  • Three facilities trained all their direct care workers in a replication study with the same training programme.
  • Trainees showed very positive effects after the training, showing improved self-confidence and knowledge about mental illness. Users rated the programme highly, and they indicated that the training would improve the quality of their resident care. Supervisors praised the training, and they said care workers were using recommended training behaviours. Although available to all staff, however, nursing and other staff made little use of the training in subsequent months.
  • These results suggest that Internet training is feasible, and it is perceived to be beneficial for resident care by trainees. Administrators, however, when they develop plans for staff training on the Internet, need to plan for continued utilization and dissemination of best practices to other staff.

Abstract

Internet training courses for nurse aides (NAs) in long-term care facilities (LTCs) have been shown to be effective. Little is known, however, about Internet training effects on NAs in a non-research context, or about continued utilization of an available training programme. In this research, a replication study was conducted with the Internet training programme Caring Skills: Working with Mental Illness. Three LTCs provided the training to all NAs, each within a 1-month interval scheduled during consecutive months. Supervisors were interviewed subsequently about their experiences organizing and supervising the training. Participants in all three LTCs showed positive pre–post-tests effects with large effect sizes on situational knowledge and self-efficacy, and knowledge about mental illness. Users rated the programme highly, and they indicated that it would improve quality of their resident care. Supervisors praised the training, and they said NAs were using recommended training behaviours. Although available to all staff, nursing and other staff made little use of the training in subsequent months. Training for NAs on the Internet thus appears feasible, and it is perceived to be beneficial for resident care. Plans for continued utilization and dissemination of best practices to other staff, however, should be integrated when planning for staff training on the Internet.

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