This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Training in dementia care: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a training program for nursing home staff in Germany


Kuske, Bettina, Luck, Tobias, Hanns, Stephanie, Matschinger, Herbert, Angermeyer, Matthias C., Behrens, Johann, Riedel-Heller, Steffi G.


International Psychogeriatrics / IPA, Volume: 21, No.: 2, Pages.: 295-308

Year of Publication



Background: This study examines the effectiveness of a nursing home staff training program designed to improve the interaction between residents with dementia and their caregivers.; Methods: A three-arm cluster-randomized and controlled population of 96 caregivers and 210 residents was used. Caregivers of the intervention group (IG) received a three-month training program in dementia care. Data were gathered at baseline, immediately after the training and at a six-month follow-up-assessment. Short- and long-term effects of the training program were assessed in comparison with another intervention referred to as the relaxation group (RG) and a wait-list control group (CG).; Results: Results indicated significant positive effects of the training program on caregivers’ knowledge immediately after the training and on the use of physical restraints at the six-month follow-up. Caregivers’ overall competence increased significantly both in the IG and in the RG. No intervention effects were found on caregivers’ level of burnout, their health complaints or on the use of sedative drugs. Relaxation training was more successful in the reduction of caregivers’ health complaints.; Conclusions: Results of the study indicate both the effectiveness and the limitations of a general training program in dementia care. The complexity of the nursing home setting potentially needs more complex interventions. Ongoing and continued support of the caregivers, as well as changes in organization and environment, are more likely to be helpful in the long-term improvement in the quality of care. Future research should focus on studies of specific interventions, such as the interesting effects of relaxation training on the caregivers’ state of health.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Kuske_2009, doi = {10.1017/s1041610208008387}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {feb}, publisher = {Cambridge University Press ({CUP})}, volume = {21}, number = {02}, pages = {295}, author = {Bettina Kuske and Tobias Luck and Stephanie Hanns and Herbert Matschinger and Matthias C. Angermeyer and Johann Behrens and Steffi G. Riedel-Heller}, title = {Training in dementia care: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a training program for nursing home staff in Germany}, journal = {{IPG}} }


adult, aged, aged, 80 and over, burnout professional, clinical competence, communication, curriculum, dementia, drug utilization, education, epidemiology, female, germany, homes for the aged, humans, hypnotics and sedatives, inservice training, male, middle aged, nursepatient relations, nursing, nursing homes, nursing staff, prevention & control, psychology, relaxation therapy, restraint physical, social environment, statistics & numerical data, therapeutic use, utilization

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cluster RCT

Type of Outcomes

Carers’ Mental Health, Carers’ Physical Health, Other carer outcomes (e.g. financial burden and more)


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers, Workforce oriented interventions

Carer Focussed Interventions

Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training, Wellbeing interventions (e.g. massage, physical health checks, relaxation techniques, self-care advice)

Workforce Interventions

Professional Training / Continuing Professional Development