Elderspeak's influence on resistiveness to care: Focus on behavioral events

  • Herman R
  • Williams K
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Resistiveness to care (RTC) in older adults with dementia commonly disrupts nursing care. Research has found that elderspeak (infantilizing communication) use by nursing home (NH) staff increases the probability of RTC in older adults with dementia. The current analysis used general sequential querier (GSEQ) software to analyze behavior sequences of specific behavioral events. We found that older adults with dementia most frequently reacted to elderspeak communication by negative vocalizations (screaming or yelling, negative verbalizations, crying). Because negative vocalizations disrupt nursing care, reduction in elderspeak use by staff may reduce these behaviors thereby increasing the quality of care to these residents. The results clearly demonstrate that sequential analysis of behavioral events is a useful tool in examining complex communicative interactions and targeting specific problem behaviors.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Communication
  • Dementia care
  • Problem behaviors
  • Resistiveness to care

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  • Ruth E. Herman

  • Kristine N. Williams

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