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  1. Haffner, Susan Townsend DNP, RN
  2. Bjorklund, Pamela PhD, APRN, CNS-BC, PMHNP-BC


Problem: Sleep disturbance is common in hospitalized dementia patients. Consequences include adverse health outcomes and heavy social and economic costs. Education programs have improved dementia care and outcomes.


Aims: A quality improvement project designed to improve sleep disturbance in hospitalized dementia patients was piloted on a medical-surgical unit of an urban, Midwestern hospital.


Methods: Nurses and nursing assistants received education on evidence-based interventions to improve sleep disturbance in dementia patients. Pre-/posttests measured changes in staff knowledge. Sleep logs measured changes in hours of patient sleep.


Results: Mean test scores increased for nurses from pre- to posttest. Sleep-wake tracking showed increased hours of sleep over time, but small sample sizes precluded pre- and posteducation statistical comparisons.


Conclusions: Education programs can increase nurses' knowledge of evidence-based sleep disturbance care for dementia patients. Larger sample sizes are needed to determine whether such programs can significantly improve their sleep.