The Effect of Validation Therapy Training On Satisfaction with Communication and Quality of Relationship Between Staff and Family Caregivers and Demented Residents in Long Term Care
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The effect of Validation Therapy training on satisfaction with communication and quality of relationship for caregivers of dementia patients was evaluated in a quasi-experimental design. Subjects were recruited from primary family and staff care givers of dementia patients at 5 central Texas long term care facilities. Training was provided by Naomi Feil at her biennial workshops utilizing a multimedia approach with didactic and experiential components. Quality of relationship was measured by the Dementia Caregiver Quality of Relationship Inventory, an instrument developed by the author, while the Interpersonal Communication Satisfaction Inventory (Hecht, 1978) measured care giver satisfaction with dyadic interaction. A test incorporating several instruments developed by Feil (1992) was used to assess validation skills. Demographic and descriptive variables were also collected. Bivariate analysis indicated a significant increase in communication satisfaction for dementia caregivers who received Validation Therapy training when compared to a group of caregivers who received no training. Although there were no differences between family and staff on change in satisfaction level with Validation Therapy training, staff caregivers were significantly more satisfied with communication at both pre-test and post-test. No experimental or caregiver group status effect on quality of relationship was observed. The Validation Therapy skills instrument demonstrated unacceptably low reliability and were excluded from analysis. Discussion of the psychometric properties of these instruments and the need for reliable measures to assess the effect of Validation Therapy training and practice is provided.