The authors examined the feasibility of delivering an adapted version of SettleIN, a manualised staff-led programme designed to facilitate adjustment to care for new residents with dementia. The effects of SettleIN on resident adjustment, mood and quality of life were also investigated. A pilot randomised controlled trial was conducted. Nineteen new residents with dementia and 21 staff participants were recruited. Residents were randomly assigned to receive the SettleIN programme or residential care as usual. Resident quality of life, mood and overall adjustment were measured at baseline and post-intervention, in week seven. Interviews were conducted with staff in week seven to explore intervention feasibility. Despite medium to large effect sizes, there was no significant difference in mean change scores between the two conditions, with regards to quality of life, psychological wellbeing or overall adjustment outcomes. Qualitative feedback indicated that SettleIN was not feasible across all areas, with problems around recruitment and practicality. However, SettleIN was deemed feasible in terms of retention and acceptability among staff. The majority of staff felt that SettleIN was beneficial for residents but that organisational and programme factors impacted upon intervention feasibility. Further exploration of organisational barriers is needed in order to reduce the impact of such factors on care home research.
Keywords: adjustment; dementia; psychological wellbeing; quality of life; residential care; staff training.