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Gerontologist. 2005 Oct;45 Spec No 1(1):96-105.

Attitudes, stress, and satisfaction of staff who care for residents with dementia.

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Program on Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC27599-7590, USA.



Considering the increasing proportion of residents in long-term care who have dementia, and the important influence that direct care providers have on resident quality of life, this study explores the dementia-related attitudes of residential care/assisted living (RC/AL) and nursing home staff, as well as their work stress and satisfaction.


Data were derived from interviews with 154 direct care providers from 31 RC/AL facilities and 10 nursing homes who participated in the Collaborative Studies of Long-Term Care.


Stress was more often reported by care providers who had been working for 1 to 2 years (compared with longer); in addition, those who had been working for 1 to 2 years were more likely to espouse hopeful or person-centered attitudes than those who had been working for a longer period of time. Also, a person-centered attitude related to satisfaction, and perceived competence in providing dementia care was consistently associated with dementia-sensitive attitudes and job satisfaction.


Attending to the welfare and ongoing training of workers who have demonstrated job commitment may lessen their tendency to become jaded over time or seek job opportunities elsewhere. Further, the attitudes the staff hold related to dementia and the training they receive to provide dementia care are important for their own well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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