Psychological factors related to nurses' intentions to initiate an antipsychotic or psychosocial intervention with nursing home residents

Geriatric Nursing
Brian M Ludwin, Suzanne Meeks


This study examined the validity of a psychological model for understanding nursing home providers' treatment choices when managing challenging dementia-related behaviors. Ninety-nine nurses from 26 long-term care facilities responded to a case study with their intentions to initiate an antipsychotic or psychosocial intervention and completed self-report measures of their attitudes, descriptive norms, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancies. The multi-level modeling results demonstrated that nurses with more positive outcome expectancies for the effect of an antipsychotic on resident behavior, and those with more positive attitudes towards antipsychotics, had greater intentions to initiate an antipsychotic. Intentions to initiate a psychosocial intervention were greater when nurses perceived a lower prevalence of antipsychotics and in facilities with nurses who collectively had higher self-efficacy to implement such interventions. The findings offer partial support for the proposed model and possible intervention targets to improve psychosocial intervention use and antipsychotic prescribing.


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Aug 24, 2021·Journal of Gerontological Social Work·Xiaochuan WangMercedes Bern-Klug

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