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Reducing Agitation in Elders with Dementia - Online Course


Accreditation:  Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The purpose of this course is to provide you with knowledge on how to decrease and/or prevent the frequency and severity of agitated episodes in elders who are diagnosed with dementia.


  • Identify the negative impact of agitation on an elder with dementia, his/her family caregiver, and the nursing staff.
  • Discuss the conceptual foundation for the effects of stress on persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias (ADRD) as postulated in the progressively lowered stress threshold (PLST) model.
  • Discuss the mid-range theory that underlies the use of individualized music for the management of persons with ADRD.
  • Identify assessment measures to determine the appropriateness of individualized music as an alternative intervention for the management of agitation.
  • Identify the evidence-based protocol for implementing individualized music.
  • Discuss the importance of including family in the planning of care.

About the Author

Linda A. Gerdner, PhD, RN, FAAN is an ethnogeriatric specialist at Stanford University, Department of Medicine. Her focus of research is the management of problematic behaviors in persons with dementia and family caregiving issues. She developed and tested the middle-range theory of individualized music intervention for agitation. This work has led to the development of an evidence-based protocol for the use of individualized music as an alternative intervention for the management of problematic behaviors in persons with dementia.

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