Person-Centered Communication for Nursing Home Residents With Dementia: Four Communication Analysis Methods

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Person-centered communication recognizes the individual as a person and responds to the individual’s feelings, preferences, and needs. This secondary analysis tested four interdisciplinary strategies to measure changes in person-centered communication used by nursing home staff following an intervention. Thirty-nine nursing assistants were recruited from 11 nursing homes and participated in the three-session Changing Talk communication training. Video recordings were collected at baseline, immediately postintervention, and at 3-month follow-up. Staff communication was analyzed using behavioral, psycholinguistic, and emotional tone coding of elderspeak communication and content analysis of communication topics. Sign rank test was used to compare postintervention changes for each measure of communication. Postintervention improvements in communication occurred for each measure; however, the changes were statistically significant only for behavioral and psycholinguistic measures. Methods and results for each communication measure were compared. Implications for future research and use of measures of person-centered communication as a tool to improve care are discussed.

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