Poster Presentation

Monday, November 5, 2007
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Monday, November 5, 2007
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Rising Stars Posters
Pre-Therapy and Dementia : an action reserach project
Penny Dodds, RMN, BSc, MSc, PGcertEd, CRM, Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Brighton, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to view an explanation of Pre-Therapy Contact Reflections
Learning Objective #2: The learner will be able to view a description of the research project which introduced Pre-Therapy Contact Reflections to staff working in dementia care.

This research is about three things; communication with people with dementia, staff, and an approach called Pre-Therapy. The research question was ‘what happens when staff learn and use Pre-Therapy Contact Reflections with people with dementia’.
Pre-Therapy originates from Garry Prouty in Chicago. Pre-Therapy is about making emotional contact and engaging in relationships with people who are unable to engage in the usual way, are difficult to reach, or traditionally seen as beyond therapy. This may be, for example, as a result of psychosis, dissociation, or due to a learning disability. Within the theory and practice of Pre-Therapy are the techniques used to establish emotional contact - known as Contact Reflections. Contact Reflections are simply that -  reflections of the words, facial expressions, bodily movements and situation or environment. The worker reflects back the embodied experience of the client in order for the worker and the client to develop contact.  This study is unique as it brings together Pre-Therapy and dementia care, exploring the relevance of Prouty’s Pre-Therapy for people who are in the latter stages of dementia, where communication is particularly challenging for workers.
The study used an Action Research Methodology to explore a number of things: the development of skills of staff in using contact reflections, the responses of people with dementia and the experiences of staff. The methods included video recordings and of staff interacting with people with dementia and video interviews of staff as they went through an Action Learning process. In addition, it looks at the process of introducing this innovation. This lead to theoretical ideas in three areas: