Positive attitudes and person-centred care predict of sense of competence in dementia care staff

Mulllan, Margaret A. & Sullivan, Karen A. (2016) Positive attitudes and person-centred care predict of sense of competence in dementia care staff. Aging & Mental Health, 20(4), pp. 407-414.

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  • The number of people who will require institutional care for dementia is rapidly rising. This increase raises questions about how the workforce can meet the challenge of providing quality care. A promising psychological concept that could improve staff and care recipient outcomes is staff sense of competence in their capacity to provide dementia care. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relative importance of staff factors associated with sense of competence.


  • Sixty-one Australian dementia care staff (mostly nurses, 69%; and allied health, 21%) were recruited. Measures included the Sense of Competence in Dementia Care Staff (criterion) and standardised measures of empirically derived predictors: training, knowledge, attitudes and person-centred care strategies.


  • Standard multiple regression revealed that 33.9% of the variance in sense of competence was explained by the combination of the four predictors. Attitudes and person-centred strategies each uniquely explained a moderate amount of variance, while training and knowledge were not significant predictors of sense of competence.


  • A positive attitude towards people with dementia, and stronger intentions to implement person-centred care strategies, predicted a greater sense of competence to provide care, whereas knowledge and training, commonly believed to be important contributors to sense of competence in dementia care, did not predict this outcome. Investing in strategies that address staff attitude and encourage person-centred care could influence sense of competence, and by extension, dementia care.

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ID Code: 97654
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1018865
ISSN: 1364-6915
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2016 01:45
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 23:35

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