What Do Certified Nurse Assistants Actually Know About Dysphagia and Feeding Nursing Home Residents? The purpose of this study was to examine certified nurse assistants' (CNAs') knowledge of dysphagia and how to feed nursing home residents using nonparticipatory structured feeding observation, critique of staged feeding behaviors on film, and semistructured interview in a triangulation methods design. Content analysis of the data confirmed previous studies ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   May 01, 2004
What Do Certified Nurse Assistants Actually Know About Dysphagia and Feeding Nursing Home Residents?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cathy A. Pelletier, PhD
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Contact author: Cathy A. Pelletier, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, 805 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244. E-mail: capellet@syr.edu
Article Information
Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   May 01, 2004
What Do Certified Nurse Assistants Actually Know About Dysphagia and Feeding Nursing Home Residents?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2004, Vol. 13, 99-113. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/012)
History: Received July 2, 2003 , Accepted December 2, 2003
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2004, Vol. 13, 99-113. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/012)
History: Received July 2, 2003; Accepted December 2, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

The purpose of this study was to examine certified nurse assistants' (CNAs') knowledge of dysphagia and how to feed nursing home residents using nonparticipatory structured feeding observation, critique of staged feeding behaviors on film, and semistructured interview in a triangulation methods design. Content analysis of the data confirmed previous studies that suggested CNAs lack knowledge about dysphagia and how to feed residents. A surprising result was the lack of accurate, comprehensive information in CNA texts and classrooms about dysphagia and how to manage challenging feeding behaviors. Speech-language pathologists are uniquely trained to improve CNA communication skills and provide accurate information to nursing colleagues. Specific recommendations of how to improve CNA feeding training programs are provided.

Acknowledgments
A pilot grant from the Cornell Gerontology Research Institute, Ithaca, New York, funded this study. This work was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctorate degree at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Results of this study were presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's 2002 Annual Convention and the 11th Annual Dysphagia Research Society Meeting, 2002. Special thanks to Bonnie Willard, Janet Jewett, Harry Lawless, Karl Pillemer, and David Pelletier for their contributions and support in data collection, transcription, or interpretation. The author is also grateful to all the nursing home administrators, CNA classroom and in-service instructors, and CNAs for their assistance and willingness to participate in this study.
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