Purpose: This study explored whether perceptions of evidence or organizational context were associated with the use of external memory aids with residents with dementia in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).
Method: A survey design, supplemented by a small sample of exploratory interviews, was completed within the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework. Ninety-six speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and 68 facility rehabilitation directors (FRDs) completed the Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment (Helfrich, Li, Sharp, & Sales, 2009) in relationship to the use of external memory aids. Five SLPs completed an interview exploring perceptions of evidence and context in relationship to memory aid use.
Results: SLPs and FRDs had favorable perceptions of evidence supporting memory aids. FRDs perceived the organizational context of the SNF more favorably than SLPs. SLP participants used external memory aids in the past 6 months in 45.89% of cases of residents with dementia. For SLP participants, a 26% (p <.05) increase of external memory aid use was associated with every 1-unit change in favor of the evidence. Interview data revealed barriers to external memory aid implementation.
Conclusions: Part of evidence-based practice implementation may be influenced by clinician perceptions. Efforts to increase implementation of external memory aids in SNFs should address these clinician perceptions.