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Int Psychogeriatr. 2018 Sep;30(9):1291-1299. doi: 10.1017/S1041610217002800. Epub 2017 Dec 10.

A randomized controlled trial examining the impact of aged care residents' written life-stories on aged care staff knowledge and attitudes.

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Swinburne University of Technology,Hawthorn,Victoria,3122,Australia.
Department of Psychological Sciences,Swinburne University of Technology,Hawthorn,Victoria,3122,Australia.


ABSTRACTBackground:The unprecedented increase in the number of older adults moving into aged care facilities has created a challenge for quality person-centered care service provision. This study examined the impact of written life-stories on knowledge and attitudes of care staff about the residents when compared to usual file notes.


A randomized controlled study was carried out with 40 staff working in an aged care residential facility. Staff were randomly assigned to a control condition, in which they read file notes (n = 21) or to an experimental condition, in which they read life stories (n = 19) about residents who they knew, and completed the Knowledge of Resident Scale (KRS) before and after their assigned reading.


A main effect for time was found for eight of the ten questions on the KRS, suggesting that irrespective of whether a participant read life stories or file notes, there was a significantly positive impact on knowledge and attitudes toward residents. However, significantly greater improvement was shown for one item on the KRS in the experimental condition when compared to the control condition, indicating that historical knowledge of residents was greater when staff read life stories than when they read file notes, F (1,38) = 6.50, p = 0.02.


These results provide preliminary evidence that knowledge and attitudes of care staff can increase about the residents for whom they care following reading file notes and life stories. The increase is similar, except in the area of historical information, where it is greater for the group who read life stories.


life stories; person-centered care; staff knowledge and attitudes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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