Picture of Me: Life-Story Work Made Accessible

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Brumley, Jessica
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Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing , Dementia , Aged , Nursing Home Patients , Nursing Home Personnel
Aim: The goal of this project was to determine if a dementia-focused quality improvement (QI) project entitled Picture of Me (POM) could increase direct care providers’ (DCPs) knowledge about individual residents and if this increase in knowledge would also improve their perceptions of personhood of the long-term care (LTC) resident with dementia. Background: A key aspect in the delivery of quality dementia care is the person-centered care approach which is an approach that involves recognizing the person with dementia as a unique individual with a distinctive life story. Direct care providers report barriers to providing this care that include the inability to secure needed information, lack of mechanisms for communicating information, and lack of the time available to do either. Systems need to be created that support communication processes to facilitate the exchange of person-centered information to direct care providers and staff. The Picture of Me (POM) quality improvement (QI) project is designed as a cost-effective, concise, and accessible way to collect and display life story information about LTC residents with dementia. Method: A convenience sample of 22 direct care providers who worked in the memory care unit of a long-term care facility in rural North Carolina were recruited to participate in this mixed-methods project conducted over a three-month period. The primary outcome measure was an increase in DCPs’ knowledge about individual resident’s life story. The secondary outcome measures were an improvement in perceptions of personhood in the care of LTC residents with dementia and an increase in staff satisfaction with caring for these residents. Results: One hundred percent of the participants completed the all surveys, and the Picture of Me project increased DCPs' knowledge as well as changed perceptions and opinions of personhood in the care of LTC residents with dementia. Conclusion: Picture of Me boards improved DCPs' knowledge of residents with dementia and their life story as well as improved DCPs perceptions of the residents by provoking thoughtful conversation, increasing convenience of information availability, facilitating the use of relevant calming techniques, and changing situational perspective in regard to everyday care practices. Keywords: long-term care facility; life-story work; person-centered care; dementia; direct care providers