Developing an environmental intervention with staff with the aim of reducing agitation in residents living with dementia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review


Purpose: To explain the process of staff involvement in the design of an environmental intervention aimed at reducing agitation in residents living with dementia in a Scottish Care Home. Background: It is estimated that 89.9 per cent of residents living in Scottish care homes are living with dementia (Lithgow, Jackson & Browne, 2012). Furthermore around 62 to 82 per cent of those residents experience agitation (Joosse, 2012). Pharmacological therapies are expensive and have been associated with having potential negative side effects (Detweiler et al., 2009). It is therefore important to look for alternative solutions such as environmental interventions. Lawton and Nahemow (1973) explain in their environmental docility hypothesis that adaptive environments can help reduce the pressures of living with a disability such as dementia. Staff have been identified as being key to an intervention’s success (Lawrence et al., 2012). If an intervention does not recognise the job demands of staff or if staff have little faith in an intervention, the chance of the intervention working is reduced. The aim of the study is to develop an environmental intervention with staff, through a combination of methods such as photo elicitation and focus groups, to generate an intervention which is suitable for both staff and residents’. Conclusions: Photo elicitation has been a valuable method in engaging staff members in potential environmental changes within the care home. The focus groups using photo elicitation highlighted a number of interventions that could be introduced into the unit, such as; nature, orientation decoration as well as altering visual, tactile and sound stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2016
EventBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference - Nottingham
Duration: 26 Apr 201627 Apr 2016


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference


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