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The Gerontologist 42:114-121 (2002)
© 2002 The Gerontological Society of America

A Videotape-Based Training Method for Improving the Detection of Depression in Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

Stacey Wood, PhDa,b,d, Jeffrey L. Cummings, MDb,c, Betha Schnelle, BAb,d and Mary Stephens, BAa,b

a Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
b Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA)
c Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, UCLA
d Borun Center for Gerontological Research, UCLA

Correspondence: Stacey Wood, PhD, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150. E-mail: swood{at}

Decision Editor: Eleanor S. McConnell, RN, PhD

Purpose: This article reviews the effectiveness of a new training program for improving nursing staffs' detection of depression within long-term care facilities. The course was designed to increase recognition of the Minimal Data Set (MDS) Mood Trigger items, to be brief, and to rely on images rather than didactics. Design and Methods: This study used a delayed intervention design. Twenty nurses from two facilities participated in all four sessions of the study. Results: Staff exposed to the intervention (Site 1) improved significantly in their ability to detect mood symptoms in videotaped patients after completing the training course compared with those exposed to the delayed intervention (Site 2). Improvement in detection skills at Site 2 following the training confirmed the intervention's utility. The improvement was demonstrated across levels of staff (licensed and unlicensed). Maintenance of skills was demonstrated at the 4-month follow-up. Implications: Staff successfully improved knowledge and skill of MDS mood triggers. This method may lend itself to other MDS domains.

Key Words: Minimal Data Set (MDS) • Nursing homes • Education

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