Woburn, MA (September 28, 2016) -– As part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the quality improvement organization (QIO) examined the use of habilitation therapy techniques in 30 Massachusetts skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).
Nursing facility caregivers are faced with a unique challenge, supporting more than half of their residents who have Alzheimer’s disease and/or other dementias. As the disease progresses and communication becomes more difficult, patients become frustrated and agitated and often act out. Traditionally medication therapy has been used to mask these behaviors, without regard to the underlying cause and to the potential harmful side effects. A recent quality improvement study published in American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, shows that habilitation therapy may be a promising alternative.
As part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the quality improvement organization (QIO) examined the use of habilitation therapy techniques in 30 Massachusetts skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Habilitation therapy, developed by Paul Raia, PhD, is a milieu therapy designed to bring about positive emotions in people with dementia and to maintain those emotions over the course of the day. The authors found that nursing facility caregivers who use habilitation therapy to recognize underlying emotions, effectively communicate and use preventative strategies can manage most dementia-related behaviors, enhance care and improve quality measures.
“This promising approach allows caregivers an opportunity to communicate and better understand resident needs so that they can provide more meaningful and appropriate care.” says lead author, Sandra Fitzler.
For media inquiries contact Alex Bronk by phone (401-528-3273) or email (abronk@HealthcentricAdvisors.org).
About Healthcentric Advisors
Healthcentric Advisors is a non-profit health care quality improvement agency providing consulting, research and education services. Located in Providence, RI with offices in Woburn, MA and Brunswick, ME and a staff of approximately 50 physicians, nurses, educators, analysts and other professionals, Healthcentric Advisors is a sought-after partner to national and local government agencies, foundations, insurers, health care providers, stakeholders and educational institutions on health care quality improvement initiatives.
About the New England QIN-QIO
The New England QIN-QIO, administered by Healthcentric Advisors in partnership with Qualidigm, works across New England on strategic initiatives such as reducing health care associated infections, reducing readmissions and medication errors, working with nursing homes to improve care for residents, supporting clinical practices in using interoperable health information technology to coordinate care, promoting prevention activities, reducing cardiac disease and diabetes, reducing health care disparities and improving patient and family engagement. The NE QIN-QIO also provides technical assistance for improvement in CMS value-based purchasing programs, including the physician value-based modifier program.