Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Director of the Honors Program

Gigi Gokcek, PhD

First Reader

Susan Morris, PhD, OTR/L

Second Reader

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L


Dementia-related changes in cognition, memory, and personality can have wide-ranging impacts on individuals, families, and healthcare systems (Plassman et al., 2007); including caregiver burnout, disruption of family life, and costly care requirements (Graneheim, Johansson, & Lindgren, 2014). Dementia has become a global issue; 46 million people worldwide have dementia and $600 billion are spent on dementia-related care every year (Farina al., 2016). Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) generally assume the majority of day-to-day care and are a vital component of providing quality, person-centered services to patients with dementia in residential care (Burke & Orlowski, 2015). The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between knowledge and self-efficacy in CNA caregivers of patients with dementia. This exploratory correlational study employed a cross-sectional design to examine the relationship between knowledge and self-efficacy in a group of 29 CNA caregivers of patients with dementia. Participants completed a survey battery measuring self-rated level of dementia knowledge, general dementia knowledge, knowledge of specific dementia approaches, and caregiver self-efficacy. The researcher used a Pearson’s r correlation analysis to explore the relationships among the four outcomes. The researcher did not find the expected correlation between overall knowledge and self-efficacy, but perhaps more importantly, discovered a significant relationship found between caregivers’ confidence in their dementia knowledge and their self-efficacy in working with these patients. Self-efficacy in care is less related to general dementia knowledge as much as a sense of knowing what to do as a dementia caregiver. Effective dementia training should educate not only on general understanding of dementia, but also on specific approaches to improve care outcomes.