Emotional availability in dyads of nursing aide - resident with dementia: Old tool, new perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study examined the emotional availability of nursing aide-resident with dementia dyads in a long-term care-facility. Emotional availability refers to the nursing aide’s sensitivity toward the resident, structuring their interactions in a non-intrusive and non-hostile manner and the resident’s responsiveness to and involvement of the nursing aide. The study evaluated the reciprocity in the emotional availability of nursing aides and the residents and examined whether emotional availability varies with the level of difficulty of taking care of the residents and with the context of the interaction. Method: The study was conducted in three wards in one long-term care-facility. Twenty nursing aides and 40 residents took part in the study. Each nursing aide was videotaped during feeding, structured and unstructured interactions, with two residents, one that was nominated by the head nurse as difficult to take care of and one that was nominated as easy to take care of. The interactions were coded using the emotional availability scales. Results: Linear mixed-effect model analyses indicated that higher emotional availability of nursing aides was related to higher emotional availability of the residents. Nursing aides’ emotional availability did not vary between “difficult” and “easy” residents or across the three interaction contexts. “Difficult” residents involved their nursing aides less than “easy” residents. Discussion: The study documented the reciprocal nature of the interaction between nursing aides and residents with dementia. It suggests that nursing aides have an important role in promoting residents’ responsiveness and involvement.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)882-898
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Emotional availability
  • communication
  • dementia
  • nursing aides

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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