Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Views and experiences of care home staff on managing behaviours that challenge in dementia: a national survey in England

Mallon, Charlotte Marie, Krska, Janet, Gammie, Shivaun M (2018) Views and experiences of care home staff on managing behaviours that challenge in dementia: a national survey in England. Aging and Mental Health, 23 (6). pp. 698-705. ISSN 1360-7863. (doi:10.1080/13607863.2018.1452898) (KAR id:66315)


Aim: To determine the views of care home (CH) staff in relation to experiencing and managing behaviour that challenges (BtC) in dementia and their experiences of training.

Method: Cross-sectional survey using a self-report questionnaire, distributed to staff employed in a 20% sample of all registered dementia-specialist CHs in England, either by postal or direct distribution.

Results: Questionnaires were returned from 352 care staff (25%), representing 5% of all dementia-specialist CHs, half were CH without nursing. Respondents estimated caring for 14,585 residents, 9,361 with dementia and 5,258 with BtC. 30.2% of residents with dementia were estimated as being prescribed a medicine to control BtC. BtC reported as experienced by most respondents were: shouting (96.6%), verbal aggression (96.3%) and physical aggression (95.7%), with physical aggression viewed as most difficult to manage. Top behaviours experienced every shift were: wandering (77.8%), perseveration (68.2%) and restlessness (68.2%).

Approaches rather than interventions, such as massage, aromatherapy and animal-assisted therapy, were viewed as key to managing BtC. These were: assessing residents, knowing them and treating them as individuals, identifying triggers, having time for them and using an appropriate style of communication.

Only 38% agreed/ strongly agreed medicines were useful to control BtC, which was related to the extent to which they were prescribed. Training was available, but variable in quality with on-line training being least useful and on-the job training most desirable.

Conclusion: BtC are commonly and frequently experienced by care staff, who consider individual approaches, having time and good communication are key to successful management.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13607863.2018.1452898
Uncontrolled keywords: Dementia; behaviour that challenges; residential facilities; antipsychotic agents; non-pharmacological interventions
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Janet Krska
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2018 15:56 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 04:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Mallon, Charlotte Marie.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Krska, Janet.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Gammie, Shivaun M.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.