Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master's of Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Julia Wilbarger PhD, OTR/L

First Reader

Susan Morris, PhD, OTR/L

Second Reader

Gina Tucker-Roghi, OTD, OTR/L


Overview: Abilities Care Experts™ (ACE™) is an educational training program for nursing staff who care for individuals with dementia in skilled nursing facilities (SNF). The objective of the program is to provide the nursing staff with knowledge, and methods to engage residents’ remaining abilities in order to maximize occupational participation using a stage-specific dementia care approach. ACE™ training has yet to be evaluated for effectiveness in a controlled study design.

Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACE™ training.

Design: The study employed a quantitative, cross-sectional, quasi-experimental design.

Participants: A total of 29 CNAs, 13 ACE™ trained and 16 non-ACE™ trained, from two Ensign SNFs.

Measurements: Participants completed a survey battery measuring key factors associated with quality of care: 1) knowledge 2) attitudes 3) self-efficacy and 4) job satisfaction.

Results: Compared to non-ACE™ trained participants, ACE™ trained participants scored higher on each outcome measure. ACE™ participants demonstrated significantly higher levels of self-perception of dementia knowledge (t (27) =3.44, p=.002), knowledge of dementia care approaches (t (26) =3.57, p=.001), and self-efficacy (t (25) =2.40, p=.024).

Conclusion: This study provides initial evidence that ACE™ can improve key factors associated with quality of care.