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A study protocol to investigate the management of depression and challenging behaviors associated with dementia in aged care settings


McCabe, Marita P., Mellor, David, Davison, Tanya E., Karantzas, Gery, von Treuer, Kathryn, O'Connor, Daniel W.


BMC Geriatrics, Volume: 13, Pages.: 95-95

Year of Publication



Background: The high occurrence and under-treatment of clinical depression and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) within aged care settings is concerning, yet training programs aimed at improving the detection and management of these problems have generally been ineffective. This article presents a study protocol to evaluate a training intervention for facility managers/registered nurses working in aged care facilities that focuses on organisational processes and culture as well as knowledge, skills and self-efficacy.; Methods: A Randomised Control Trial (RCT) will be implemented across 18 aged care facilities (divided into three conditions). Participants will be senior registered nurses and personal care attendants employed in the aged care facility. The first condition will receive the training program (Staff as Change Agents – Enhancing and Sustaining Mental Health in Aged Care), the second condition will receive the training program and clinical support, and the third condition will receive no intervention.; Results: Pre-, post-, 6-month and 12-month follow-up measures of staff and residents will be used to demonstrate how upskilling clinical leaders using our transformational training approach, as well as the use of a structured screening, referral and monitoring protocol, can address the mental health needs of older people in residential care.; Conclusions: The expected outcome of this study is the validation of an evidence-based training program to improve the management of depression and BPSD among older people in residential care settings by establishing routine practices related to mental health. This relatively brief but highly focussed training package will be readily rolled out to a larger number of residential care facilities at a relatively low cost.; Trial Registration: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): The Universal Trial Number (UTN) is U1111-1141-0109.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{McCabe_2013, doi = {10.1186/1471-2318-13-95}, url = {}, year = 2013, month = {sep}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {13}, number = {1}, author = {Marita P McCabe and David Mellor and Tanya E Davison and Gery Karantzas and Kathryn von Treuer and Daniel W O'Connor}, title = {A study protocol to investigate the management of depression and challenging behaviors associated with dementia in aged care settings}, journal = {{BMC} Geriatr} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, dementia, depression, diagnosis, disease management, education, health personnel, homes for the aged, humans, psychology, skills, staff, standards, therapy

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Depression and Anxiety, Other


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Workforce oriented interventions

Workforce Interventions

Professional Training / Continuing Professional Development