Background: Effective communication between nurses and patients with dementia promotes the quality of patient care by improving the identification of patient needs and by reducing the miscommunication-related frustration of patients and nurses. Purpose: This study evaluates the effects of an advanced innovative Internet-based communication education (AIICE) program on nurses' communication knowledge, attitudes, frequency of assessing patient communication capacity, and communication performance in the context of care for patients with dementia. In addition, this study attempts to evaluate the indirect effects of this program on outcomes for patients with dementia, including memory and behavior-related problems and depressive symptoms. Methods: A quasi-experimental research design with a one-group repeated measure was conducted. Convenience sampling was used to recruit nurses from long-term care facilities in southern Taiwan. Data were analyzed using general estimating equations to compare changes over time across three points: baseline, fourth-week posttest, and 16th-week posttest. One hundred five nurses completed the AIICE program and the posttest surveys. Results: The findings indicate that nurses' communication knowledge, frequency in assessing patients' communication capacity, and communication performance had improved significantly over the baseline by either the 4th-or 16th-week posttest (p <.01). However, communication attitude showed no significant improvement in the posttest survey (p =.40). Furthermore, the findings indicate that the memory and behavior-related problems and the depressive symptoms of patients had decreased significantly by the 16th-week posttest (p =.05). Conclusions/Implications for Practice: This study showed that the AIICE program improves nurses' communication knowledge, frequency to assess patients' communication capacity, and communication performance and alleviates the memory and behavior-related problems and depressive symptoms of patients. The continuous communication training of nurses using the AIICE program is thus recommended.
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