Nurses’ movements within and between various paths when improving their communication skills—An evaluation of validation method training


Aims and objectives: To explore any changes in nurses’ skills at communicating with residents with dementia disease when using the validation method, as observed in one-to-one videotaped conversations. Background: Communication difficulties due to cognitive impairment among residents with dementia disease may complicate care situations. Training can improve nurses’ communication skills and increase care quality. The validation method aims to facilitate communication with residents with dementia disease through empathic and confirmatory approaches. Evaluations of the validation method have primarily focused on the residents’ perspective, and reports on nurses’ experiences are sparse. Improved communication and relationships with residents after validation method training have been described previously. Videotaped data could provide additional information about these earlier results. Design: A descriptive qualitative design. Methods: Eight nurses participated in a year of validation method training, including videotaped conversations with eleven residents. Videotapes with at least five months between the first and last recording were analysed and compared qualitatively. Results: The analysis revealed an overall pattern: nurses’ movements within and between various paths when improving their communication skills. This was based on three sub-patterns: from controlling communication towards developing attentiveness in communication, from ambiguous communication towards developing coherence in communication, and from being open and attentive towards having a refined attuned communication. Conclusions: All nurses developed their communication skills during the programme, albeit to different degrees. The findings are in congruence with the experiences described by nurses, and so it is reasonable to believe that the programme helped to improve the nurses’ skills in communicating with residents with dementia disease. Relevance to clinical practice: A validation method training programme could give nurses the possibility to develop their skills in communicating with residents with dementia disease.

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Söderlund, M. , Cronqvist, A. , Norberg, A. , Ternestedt, B. and Hansebo, G. (2013) Nurses’ movements within and between various paths when improving their communication skills—An evaluation of validation method training. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 265-273. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.32036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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