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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Karen M. Kinyon
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology
Title: Direct Care Workers Perceptions and Practices Related to Quality of Life in Long Term Care
Dr. Van Cooley, Chair
Dr. Patricia Reeves
Dr. Sharie Falan
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:00 a.m. to Noon
3208 Sangren Hall
The focus of this case study was to discover how direct care workers (DCWs) define success in their practice and what institutional and individual factors contribute to their successful practices. It describes how DCWs perceive quality of life for NH residents and how their practices reflect quality of life indicators. The conceptual model for which this research is based on was developed around the concepts that individual and institutional factors contribute to the successful practices of direct care workers; and, how these DCWs perceive quality of life influences how they practice to promote quality of life for nursing home residents. Using a case study approach, data were gathered from a random sample of 15 direct care workers employed in one long term care facility in southwestern Michigan. The study utilized in-depth interviews to obtain information on the perceptions and practices of DCWs. How direct care workers prioritized 11 quality of life dimensions was investigated to understand their perceptions of quality of life for nursing home residents. Seven themes and three emergent themes identified the individual and institutional factors that contributed to the successful practices of DCWs, as well as how their practices reflected quality of life indicators. How direct care workers perceive nursing home resident quality of life was revealed. Results of the study may add to the body of knowledge of successful practices of DCWs that promote quality of life of nursing home residents. These findings may also provide evidence to support revisions to the regulations guiding the content of DCW training.