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104 Exploring the Utility of the VERA Framework to Improve Communication between Nursing Students and People with Dementia in Long-term Care

16 Sep 2019

AbstractBackgroundDeveloped by Blackhall et al. (2011), the Validation, Emotion, Reassure, Activity (VERA) communication framework seeks to provide student nurses with a guide to provide person-centred care to people living with dementia. The framework aims to enable the caregiver to communicate with the person living with dementia in a respectful manner, and accept that there is both value and meaning to the person’s speech and behaviour. This paper presents the findings from a small pilot control pre-post study which aimed to explore the impact of the VERA framework to promote person-centred communication between student nurses and older people with dementia in long term care.MethodsA control group of six students, received standard communication training and ten students received additional communication training using the VERA framework. Data was collected using the non-participant observational tool Quality of Interactions Schedule (QUIS) and three self-assessment questionnaires to assess student nurses’ confidence, dementia knowledge and communication skills.ResultsThe results of this study found that those students who received the additional VERA communication training were observed to have a significantly (Mann-Whitney U test; p = <0.05) reduced number of negative interactions with people with dementia than those students who had received standard communication training alone. In addition, student nurses trained in the VERA framework showed a significant increase (Mann-Whitney U test; p = <0.05) in their confidence to care for people with dementia than those who had received standard communication skills training.ConclusionThe study finding need to be interpreted with caution given the small sample size and the pilot nature of the study. Nevertheless, these findings indicate that the VERA framework has the potential to improve (1) person-centred communication between student nurses and older people with dementia and (2) students’ confidence to care for people with dementia.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Age and Ageing