Evaluation of a clinical intervention for wanderers on a geriatric nursing unit

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1997 Feb;11(1):21-8. doi: 10.1016/s0883-9417(97)80046-5.


In this article, a clinical intervention designed to decrease unsafe wandering and reduce interpersonal tension on a dementia unit of a nursing home is described and evaluated. The intervention, a walking program for physically active persons with severe dementia, was designed to meet residents physical activity and social needs. Based on therapeutic milieu concepts, positive effects in the environment, were expected in addition to the individual benefits for participants. To measure the effect of the intervention on the nursing unit environment, the frequency of resident-to-resident and resident-to-staff aggression in the 24 hour period after the walking group was compared to time periods when the group did not meet. T-test analysis revealed a statistically significant reduction in the frequency of aggression in the 24 hour periods after the walkers group. An average reduction of aggressive events by 30% shown in this small study is important clinically. Further study of modifications in care on geriatric nursing units is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aggression
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing / methods*
  • Hospital Units
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Psychiatric Nursing / methods*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Walking*