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New e-learning programme highlights distress in dementia

Training aims to help staff understand causes of stress for dementia patients in hospitals

An e-learning programme to improve nurses’ understanding of distress in dementia patients has been launched.

Developed by the psychology of dementia team at NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the training programme is aimed at health and social care staff working in general hospitals.

It supports the delivery of Scotland’s national dementia strategy and ten-point action plan for improving dementia care in acute settings.

The resource aims to improve awareness of the causes of stress and distressed behaviours in dementia. It is based on a biopsychosocial model, which takes into account the physical and biological factors, as well as psychological and social factors, that may cause distress.

Stress and Distress in Dementia also explores evidence-based strategies that can be used to improve the experience, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia and their families and carers while on the ward.

Recognising that working with distressed patients can be difficult, the training also highlights the importance of identifying and responding to stress and distress experienced by staff.

The programme, which contains three modules, takes two hours to complete.

NES director of training for psychology services Judy Thomson said: ‘The psychological support of people with dementia in our acute care settings is one of the key priorities set out in Scotland’s national dementia strategy.

'Stress and distress in dementia is a specific challenge within these settings and it is crucial that staff feel appropriately skilled and knowledgeable to recognise and respond to such distress.’

The training is available on learnPro. To access it click here.

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