Current estimates indicate that over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease. By 2025, it is projected that over seven million Americans will have been diagnosed with the disease (Alzheimer's Association, 2014). Chronic daily pain, which is prevalent in the population over 65 years of age, has been reported to be present in almost half of all people with dementia and in up to 80% of seniors living in long-term care. However, residents with cognitive impairment receive fewer analgesics than those who are cognitively intact. Knowledge gaps and misconceptions of nursing staff are a major barrier to effective pain assessment and management in the long-term care setting. For this project, an isolated educational intervention was provided to RN's, LPN's and CNA's to address these gaps, with knowledge evaluated by survey before and after the intervention. Although knowledge increases were observed among all three categories of job titles, only one significant finding resulted. The LPN's had a significant change in post-intervention response from that of agreement to disagreement that much attention was given to pain in dementia patients in their workplace. This project brought into focus the continuing decline in the employment of RN's in the long-term care setting and the decreasing RN to LPN mix, which challenges the scope and practice of the LPN. In addition to the recognition of pain related behaviors of the dementia patient and utilization of standardized pain protocols, future efforts should focus on improving the core competencies and assessment skills of the LPN in the long-term care setting.
|Advisor:||Ferrario, Joyce A.|
|Commitee:||Fitzgerald, Kathleen J., James, Gary D.|
|School:||State University of New York at Binghamton|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Alzheimer’s disease, Cognitive impairment, Dementia|
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