Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Neuropsychiatric symptoms such as aggression, agitation, anxiety, mood disorders, and psychosis are frequently associated with the diagnosis of dementia (Schneder, Dagennan, & lnsel, 2005; Wand et al., 2005; Zee & Burkett, 2008). These tenns have been grouped together under the term 'behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia' (BPSD) by the International Psychogeriatiic Association (Douglas, James, & Ballard, 2004). Neuropsychiatric symptoms are often reasons for institutionalization in nursing homes due to increased burden and stress on the caregiver (Douglas, James & Clive, 2004; Murman et al, 2002). As the elderly population continues to grow, dementia and its related symptoms will remain a major health concern for society. There is considerable evidence in literature suggesting that non phannacological interventions should be considered as first line treatment in managing BPSD when there are no psychotic features or immediate danger to resident or others (Cohen-Mansfield & Mintzer, 2005; Wood-Mitchell, James, Waterwo11h, Swann & Ballard, 2008; CohenMansfield & Jensen, 2008; Turner, 2004). This can be a practical and safe alternative when comparing the use of mood altering medications that can cause serious adverse effects. It is the intent of this independent study project to educate nursing staff who work in long term care facilities (LTC) to help identify the need for utilizing non planetological interventions and to acknowledge their known benefits as a safe alternative in helping reduce BPSD. Increased knowledge of using non planetological interventions will be accomplished through evidenced based research, proposals, and recommendations derived from current literature in a font that will be conducive to a satisfactory learning environment. Information presented in this educational session will help assist staff to recognize useful strategies for implementation of non-pharmacological interventions based on the "Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold Conceptual Model" in helping to achieve successful therapeutic outcomes. The education session consisted of a lecture and power point presentation, followed by class discussion. To assess effectiveness of learning, participants completed a post test at the end of the discussion.