Analysis of Program Evaluation: Partners in Caregiving (PIC)

It is always difficult to form a relationship with someone especially when you are trying to build it under the influence of difficult conditions and situations. To maintain the effective interaction in the relations, both sides should make considerable efforts. Otherwise, if one party tries to do everything and the other just ignores, there will be no result. A striking example of building relationships is the interaction between the family and the staff members in the nursing homes. It is hard to be on one of these sides because such relationships are built in an unusual life situation. This relationship is a social issue that needed resolution and the intervention of researchers.

Social Problem of Relationship

Researchers and scientists noted that in recent years attention to relations between the nursing home staff and the family members of the residents increased. Their research and experiments have shown that many family members experience stress in relationships with the staff of a nursing home. At the same time, nursing home workers find it difficult to communicate with the relatives of the residents. Researchers reported that the reasons for such problems were the different structural features, principles, rules of behavior, values and relations between members of such structural units as nursing home and family. Members of the staff and the family have their ideas and expectations of each other which do not correspond to the real situation and prevent them from the performance of their duties. In addition, studies have demonstrated that the time pressure is a reason of the staff-family conflict. Therefore, relatives fear to advise or offer something to staff, different ethnic groups and economic classes of residents. Intervention programs will help to avoid depression, anxiety, distrust, emotional stress associated with caring for facility residents. This program is Partners in Caregiving (PIC). It is essential not only for the families but also for the nursing home workers because effective relationships are built on the attitudes of both sides.

Activities in Intervention

Intervention program is a set of activities and methods by which the main goals and results are achieved. It includes identifying problems, setting goals, hypotheses, design, methods, sample division into groups, training and workshops, evaluation, summarizing.

The researchers used two main mechanisms to implement the PIC program that have been aimed at changing behavior and perceptions of both sides of the relationship. Many experiments have shown that the training focused on improving communication skills, brought effective changes in the relationship of doctors and patients, famlies and public institutions. Therefore, the main activity of the project was the development and improvement of communication skills by family members and nursing home staff. It will be a promising direction that will assist in improving the partnership and reducing hostility and distrust between two sides.

The next target of the program is discussion and recommendations of facility policies and procedures which can be achieved by conducting joint meeting with residents’ relatives, staff, and facility administrator. Thus, each side will feel the importance of their presence, involvement, ideas, solidarity, and control. It will result in the planned objectives for which the intervention program was designed.

Expected Results of Intervention Program

The project was created to get positive results and changes in staff-family relations. Firstly, it was expected that participants under treatment would confirm improved experience and attitudes towards the other group and corroborate the fall of the conflict they encountered face to face including interpersonal problems. Secondly, the distress in the staff-family relationship would be reduced. Researchers have predicted that in such a way level of caregiver burden would decrease for family members as well as lower depression for both sides in the relationship. The third objective of the program was to reduce the stress at work of health professionals. All these results can be obtained using a specific methodology and design.

Research Design and Methodologies

The PIC program consisted of two sets of parallel workshops that were held for family members and staff within the same unit. The aim of the training was to improve active/emphatic listening skills, feedback (providing verbal cues to a conversation) and using the I-message (using the first-person singular to express a problem or complaint) technique. In the end of the project a joint meeting was organized during which the issues with the facility administrator were discussed.

Besides, 20 nursing homes in the Central New York region were selected for the study using stratified randomization methods. Creating sample the researchers focused on such characteristics as facility location (metropolitan/nonmetropolitan) and size. The sample was divided into two categories. Additionally, the facilities in each of the levels were randomly appointed to treatment and control conditions.

Staff and family members were sampling units. Furthermore, they were from a different unit in the same facility. The treatment and control conditions were assigned randomly to two units themselves tested randomly from all the units in each facility. Finally, it resulted in ten trreatment units and ten control units within the treatment facilities (Pillemer et al., 2003).

Research Findings

PIC program was developed to improve relations in the nursing homes. The results of the project are encouraging and promising for both families and staff. The greatest achievement was that family members began to behave with more compassion and respect and nurses, in turn, experienced improvement in attitude from residents’ relatives. Staff members have started to work better, which resulted in the reduction of quitting. The study showed that more hostility and misunderstanding with health of residents occur in stressfull and difficult situations. After the intervention program, the pressure and conflict of family members whose relatives suffered from dementia declined. In addition, this factor affects the well-being of staff. On the whole, positive opinions of all the participants can confirm the effectiveness of the program. Participants reported that they received invaluable experience and would recommend this experiment to the others.

Perspective Directions of the Intervention Program

To conclude, PIC project undoubtedly had a positive effect on both sides in the family-staff relationships. The researchers concentrated on many factors and built an effective model that reflects the main areas of changes and influences. They chose a reasonable sample using a randomized field experiment and made an accurate data evaluation through workshops, seminars, interviews. Those objectives were achieved, therefore, the program has proved its usefulness and reliability.

The disadvantage of the program was that the focus was only on family-staff relations which had an indirect impact on residents. However, future research priority should be concentrated on collecting the data from the living standards of residents. It is necessary to involve all the participants in the experiment since only comprehensive study provides a true assessment. There is a need to improve communication between staff within nursing homes, and between staff and residents. The program does not provide further intervention research policies and procedures in nursing homes but it is an important area that directly affects those for whom buildings of this type were created. Unfortunately, this intervention program may have a short-term effect that is why the researchers should periodically conduct new trainings, seminars, and meetings that will adapt relations to the world that is constantly changing.  Evidently, when there are some problems in the relationship, especially in the social sphere, participants need support, for instance, with the help of such intervention program as PIC.