THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES WITH VALIDATION THEORY VERSUS REALITY ORIENTATION (RO)
Introduction: Due to the increasing prevalence of dementia worldwide, it is imperative that all caregivers understand how to most effectively communicate and care for people living with dementia. Most of the care provided to people living with dementia is provided without pay by family or friends (Alzheimer’s Association, 2019). There is little in the literature about the experiences of family caregivers using reality orientation versus Validation Theory, that is, responding to the person living with dementia as if their perceptions were reality. Validation Theory has also been described as meeting the person where they are, rather than arguing about reality. With a better understanding of caregiver experiences, education can be developed to support more effective communication. Training caregivers to communicate in a way that is therapeutic and beneficial to the person with dementia (PWD) is essential to delivering adequate care. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use qualitative inquiry to explore family caregiver experiences who use reality reorientation in an attempt to diffuse a situation versus using validation techniques. Methodology: Following IRB approval, a qualitative inquiry was conducted. The sample was comprised of family caregivers of a person living with dementia in attendance at a virtual community caregiver training event. The participant must have spoken English, been currently caring for a person living with dementia and must have been able to provide informed consent. Data Analysis: Both the researcher and the faculty mentor read the transcripts literally and in entirety, first to get an idea of the conversations and then re-read to mark comments thought to be related to pertinent family caregiver experiences. After individual review, the team met to arrive at consensus on the themes noted throughout each interview. Results: The analysis of the transcripts found that frustration with reality orientation could escalate conflict between family caregiver and their person living with dementia. Participants who accepted the person in the time and place they thought they were in had much more peaceful interactions and decreased stress in communication. Conclusion: The incidence of dementia is drastically increasing, and it is imperative that caregivers learn how to best communicate with their loved one as the disease progresses. This research project supplied a unique look into two different communication strategies and encouraged participants to discuss the effectiveness of each one side-by-side. It highlighted the communication dilemmas faced by many caregivers. Many would agree that good communication is at the heart of providing effective care. The issue arises when the person being cared for has a different view of his/her current reality. The present work offers some insight into effective communication techniques, as experienced by caregivers of people living with dementia.
Fuller, Cassidy. (May 2021). THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES WITH VALIDATION THEORY VERSUS REALITY ORIENTATION (RO) (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9175.)
Fuller, Cassidy. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES WITH VALIDATION THEORY VERSUS REALITY ORIENTATION (RO). Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9175. September 27, 2023.
Fuller, Cassidy, “THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES WITH VALIDATION THEORY VERSUS REALITY ORIENTATION (RO)” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2021).
Fuller, Cassidy. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES WITH VALIDATION THEORY VERSUS REALITY ORIENTATION (RO) [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2021.
East Carolina University