Depression in Older Adults: A Quantitative Study in Baseline Knowledge of Caregivers

Depression in Older Adults: A Quantitative Study in Baseline Knowledge of Caregivers

Author: 
Nicolette S. Hamilton
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
Older adults are susceptible to experiencing depression. A gap in the literature exists relating to Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) caring for an institutionalized older adult. The purpose of this study was to assess and discover the knowledge level of the CNAs working in a long-term care facility regarding depression in the older adult. Research demonstrated that recognizing the symptoms of depression and reporting depression symptoms allows older adults to seek treatment. Treatment may help prevent the incidences of suicide, a common outcome for depressed older adults. The theoretical framework of Jean Watson and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need guided this study. Fifty-five CNA respondents from three different long-term care facilities completed a multiple-choice questionnaire containing 27 questions. The Multiple Choice Questionnaire is a validated and reliable tool for assessing the level of knowledge about depression. SPSS was utilized to analyze the data. A Chi-square analysis was performed. The results showed a significant difference between the structures of gender in population (expected frequency) and observed frequencies of nursing assistants. Confidence interval levels were performed for each question on the questionnaire. An ANOVA testing revealed the ratios of correctly answered questions. The results were found to be statistically significant. The results of this study are important to health care leaders. The findings of this study helped determine that most respondents demonstrated a basic understanding about depression in older adults.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my family but most of all my husband, Tom. He has been my support and best cheerleader for the long duration of this doctoral journey. He had believed in me when I did not believe that I could make this journey. He sacrificed many things including time together to allow me to be online including those times I had to journey to another state for residencies in pursuit of this degree. Tom’s voice is often a familiar sound in my head, supporting and pushing me. I love you – you are my inspiration now and always. Thank you for taking this journey with me. This is also for my son who cheered me on even when he was not sure what I was describing to him about what I was doing. He gave up many hours of “Mom” time so I could work on this degree. Thank you, son, I will always love you. To my daughter-in-law who only came into this journey a few years ago, I thank you for always asking and being supportive.
Acknowledgements: 
I want to thank my chair Dr. Cheryl Anderson for her commitment to helping achieve this goal. Dr. Anderson stuck with me through thick and thin and has been a huge factor in my success. She has supported me emotionally through not only this doctoral journey but also through the journey of some personal issues that distracted me away from focusing on this dissertation at times. My committee Dr. Louise Underdahl and Dr. Katherine Iaconetti also deserve thanks for helping with this accomplishment. They were helpful with their feedback and support through it all. Without my chair and committee members, I could not have made it through this journey and reached this goal. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge someone who helped me more than he will ever know. This person guided me with the statistical side of this study. Thank you Dr. Boris Djokic, you saved my life. I also want to acknowledge University of Phoenix leadership for providing learners the tools needed to be successful in this educational journey. I also want to acknowledge the faculty who facilitated the courses needed. I do not want to forget my academic and financial counselors as well. They were helpful in keeping on track with everything. I want to acknowledge the rest of my family not already mentioned. I thank you for your support at various times and in various ways. Finally and most important, this acknowledgment would not be complete without giving thanks to God who created me and blessed me with the ability to achieve this goal.