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The Effect of Participation in a Dementia Simulation on Participants Empathy Edit


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  • 2018 (Creation)


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  • Abstract

    Publisher: Clarion, Pa. : Clarion University of Pennsylvania ; Edinboro, Pa. : Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

    Publication Date: 2018

    Format: 1 online resource (41 pages) text file PDF


    The purpose of this study was to establish if participants in the Dementia Live® simulation would experience changes in empathy. It is estimated that 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia (Alzheimer's Association facts and figures, 2018). The majority of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease are over the age of 65 and the incidence increases moderately with age (Alzheimer's Association, n.d.). It is estimated that 50% of people over the age of 85 have some form of dementia (Touhy and Jett, 2016). It is also estimated that 50% of people living in assisted living or long term care facilities have some form of dementia. Research indicates that many dementia care workers lack the skills necessary to respond to dementia related behaviors due to a lack of dementia specific training (Gaugler, Hobday, Robbins, and Barclay 2016). Empathy is often thought of as an essential component of a nurse’s character and is relevant to the delivery of nursing care (Digby, 2016). It is important for the staff to understand what life is like for the person living with dementia. By developing a better understanding of what it is like to live with dementia, the staff can make changes to the care they provide and develop a better understanding of the thoughts and emotions a person living with dementia experiences. It is essential that healthcare professionals understand the uniqueness of dementia as a disease, and how to provide care to persons living with the disease. Enhancing empathy can help the staff understand the fact that the psychological care provided is just as important as the physical care (Pulsford, Duxbuy, and Carter, 2016). Higher levels of empathy have also been found to decrease staff burnout and can improve the staff patient relationship (Wagaman, Geiger,Shockley, and Segal, 2015). The Jefferson Scale of Empathy HP version was administered prior to completion of the simulation. Participants then took part in the simulated experience and complete the Jefferson Scale of Empathy HP immediately after completing the simulation. Pretest and posttest scores were evaluated.

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