No AccessAmerican Journal of Speech-Language PathologyResearch Article27 May 2019

Certified Nursing Assistants Want to Use External Memory Aids for Residents With Dementia: Survey Results Within an Implementation Science Framework


    The purpose of this study was to assess the self-perceived knowledge and self-efficacy of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) when using external memory aids to enhance the communication and independence of residents with dementia living in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).


    One hundred forty-four CNAs completed a measure pertaining to self-perceived knowledge and self-efficacy of external memory aids.


    CNAs had favorable beliefs about the usefulness of external memory aids to help both conversation and independence in activities of daily living for residents with dementia (M = 4.0, SD = 0.84; M = 3.92, SD = 0.85) on a 5-point Likert scale, with 5 = strongly agree and 1 = strongly disagree. There were no statistically significant differences between CNAs who reported being trained to use external memory aids with residents with dementia and CNAs who reported they were not trained according to items related to self-efficacy (U = 2203.5, z = −1.483, p = .138; U = 2179, z = −1.547, p = .122; U = 2115, z = −1.82, p = .069; U = 2320, z = −0.942, p = .346).


    Results of this study indicated that the lack of uptake of external memory aids for residents with dementia in SNFs may not solely be due to lack of buy-in or lack of time on the part of the CNA. Speech-language pathologists should provide this training to support the uptake of external memory aids for residents with dementia; however, these data suggest that current training methods may not be considerate of the nuances of implementation. Speech-language pathologists and researchers should consider the finer aspects of theoretically grounded facilitation techniques as next steps to the broader implementation of this intervention for residents with dementia living in SNFs.


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