Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Aleksandra Zecevic


This phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to gain insight into the use of non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) to reduce agitation in seniors with dementia who live in long-term care homes. The perceptions and experiences were captured from 44 long-term care staff from four public and one private home in London, Ontario. Twelve individual interviews and five focus groups were held across the sites with recreation, nursing, dietary, personal support workers and upper management staff. All transcripts were analyzed using inductive content analysis. The perceived barriers to using NPIs were lack of time, low staff-to-resident ratios, the unpredictable and short-lasting effectiveness of NPIs in reducing agitation, and the physical environmental conditions of the LTC homes, such as the high volume of residents in a small space and increased noise levels. The major facilitators to the use of NPIs included consistency in staff and the resident’s routine, that all staff were able to implement NPIs whereas not all staff can distribute medications, adequate resources, and teamwork. Both medications and NPIs were used to manage agitation, although staff expressed a need to strive for more frequent use of NPIs because they were perceived to increase the quality of life of the residents.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.