On Wednesday, April 29, IOA Visiting Scholar, Ann Marie Kolanowski, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, professor, Penn State School of Nursing, discussed her team’s research on improving behavioral health and testing non-pharmacological interventions in nursing homes.
Dr. Kolanowski explained that her work has helped to establish significant evidence for non-pharmacological approaches as the first line of treatment for behavioral issues in the elderly, especially since antipsychotic drugs have been linked to adverse effects and even increased mortality. Dr. Kolanowski’s approach relies heavily on understanding the patients interests and abilities and tailoring your approach accordingly. Intervention strategies included group and individual activities that met the needs of each specific patient. Based on this approach, Dr. Kolanowski found that the majority of patients experienced significant improvements in mood and behavior.
Dr. Kolanowski and her team have also developed the NursingHome Toolkit, an online resource with the goal of assisting nursing home staff in the implementation of these non-pharmacological strategies for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. To view the Toolkit, visit: http://www.nursinghometoolkit.com
View the full lecture here.