A pilot study evaluating the feasibility of psychological first aid for nursing home residents
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the pilot study were to modify existing psychological first aid (PFA) materials so they would be appropriate for use with institutionalized elders, evaluate the feasibility of using nursing home staff to deliver the intervention to residents, and solicit feedback from residents about the intervention. The STORM Study, an acronym for "services for treating older residents' mental health", is the first step in the development of an evidence-based disaster mental health intervention for this vulnerable and underserved population. METHOD: Demographic characteristics were collected on participating residents and staff. Program evaluation forms were completed by staff participants during the pilot test and nurse training session. Staff and resident discussion groups were conducted during the pilot test to collect qualitative data on the use of PFA in nursing homes. RESULTS: Results demonstrate the feasibility of the PFA program to train staff to provide residents with PFA during disasters. CONCLUSIONS: Future research should focus on whether PFA improves coping and reduces stress in disaster exposed nursing home residents.