Purpose: Creative expression (CE) programs are emerging interventions to improve the quality of care and life of persons with dementia (PWDs) in long-term care settings. However, limited empirical evidence exists to support the effectiveness of these programs. Here, we report the findings from an assessment of the impact of TimeSlips (TS), a group storytelling program that encourages CE among PWDs and those who care for them.
Design and methods: Instruction in TS was provided through a 10-week on-site training. An observational study using an experimental design was conducted in 20 nursing home facilities in 2 states, 10 of which were randomly selected to implement TS. Two weeks after the implementation of TS at the intervention sites, we conducted 4 days of direct observation, using a time-sampling approach, of residents and staff in each facility. Using surveys, we also assessed staff job satisfaction, attitudes toward residents, and burnout.
Results: Compared with residents in the control facilities, those in the TS facilities were more engaged and more alert. In TS facilities, there were more frequent staff-resident interactions, social interactions, and social engagement. Also, staff who participated in the TS program had more positive views of residents with dementia and devalued residents less than did the control group staff. There were no differences in staff job satisfaction and burnout among staff in the TS and non-TS facilities.
Implications: Implementing the TS program in nursing facilities improves the care environment for PWDs. However, additional studies are needed to offer further insights into the mechanisms by which TS improves both staff and resident outcomes.