The effects of enhanced program review and staff training on the management of aggression among clients in a long-term neurobehavioral rehabilitation program

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Objective: This article examined the effects of staff training, staff support groups, and increased client behavior monitoring on the rate of physical aggression toward peers and objects in an older neurobehavioral population treated in a long-term neurorehabilitation program. Methods: During the 15 months of data collection, programmatic enhancements were introduced including: Staff training and support groups, comprehensive assessment and individualized program development, and client-centered weekly and systemic monthly behavior management review. Incidents of physical aggression were assessed using staff report. Data were corroborated using multiple sources including, medical records, written incident reports, and Overt Aggression Scale-Modified for Neurorehabilitation - Extended (OAS-MNR-E). Results: A total of 267 clients were present in the facility during the reporting period. The clients had neurobehavioral disability of various origins, 73% had a psychiatric diagnosis in addition to one or more medical diagnoses, and 58% had a dementia diagnosis. An already low rate of incidents of physical aggression per client month (0.02) was reduced by 77% following the implementation of programmatic enhancements. Conclusion: Enhanced systematic behavioral review of clients provided concurrently with staff training in non-aversive principles and ongoing staff support groups reduced the incidents of behavioral disregulation in older persons with psychiatric diagnoses, medical comorbidities, and neurobehavioral disabilities.

Keywords: geriatric patients; mental disorder; non-aversive approach; quality assurance; support groups

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Idylwood Care Center, Sunnyvale, CA, USA 2: Idylwood Care Center, Sunnyvale, CA, USA,Faculty of Occupational Therapy, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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