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415 - Promoting empowerment for nursing homes residents with dementia: a feasibility study of the SPAN+ program

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 2021

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For feeling empowered, a sense of identity, usefulness, control, and self-worth is important for people living with dementia. We developed an empowerment intervention called the SPAN+ program to promote empowerment for nursing home residents with dementia. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of the SPAN+ program for these residents.


Healthcare professionals of two dementia special care units of one care organization worked with the SPAN+ intervention, which lasted for four months (September 2020 – December 2020). During the intervention, they reflected together on the four themes of empowerment for each resident, and set specific goals. Subsequently, they discussed and adjusted these goals with family caregivers and the person living with dementia (when possible). Furthermore, their personal professional development was targeted by specific exercises around the themes of empowerment.

We used the method of Bowen and colleagues (2009) to evaluate the feasibility of the SPAN+program in terms of acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, integration, and possible efficacy.

Qualitative data was collected through interviews and a focus group discussion with participating healthcare professionals. Quantitative data was collected through standardized questionnaires filled in by healthcare professionals and family caregivers at baseline and at four- month follow-up.


Preliminary results show that the SPAN+ program supports healthcare professionals to increase attention for empowerment of residents living with dementia, by reflecting together with other healthcare professionals on what matters for each individual resident. Difficulties were reported in engaging family caregivers in the SPAN+ program.


The SPAN+ program seems valuable to increase the focus of healthcare professionals on a sense of identity, usefulness, control, and self-worth of people living with dementia in a nursing home, and to promote their empowerment.

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© International Psychogeriatric Association 2021