Objective: To evaluate whether a short training focused on improving dementia care practices of the hospital staff was able to counteract functional loss and to decrease negative outcomes at discharge among hospitalized older adults with cognitive impairment. Method: Sixty-eight hospitalized participants aged 65 and over with cognitive impairment were included in the study, allocated in the control group (n = 34) and intervention group (n = 34). The intervention consisted of a short training of the hospital staff aimed at improving the management of patients with cognitive impairment. Participants were evaluated within 48 h of hospital admission and at discharge using a battery of tests including Barthel Index, Mini-Mental State Examination, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: The intervention group demonstrated shorter hospital length of stay and a maintenance of the functional status at discharge compared to the control group. We observed no differences in cognitive ability between the two groups, and a trend towards a decrease of anxious symptoms in the intervention group compared to the control group. Conclusion: The results suggest that an intervention, focused on improving dementia care practices in healthcare staff, has the potential to improve the outcomes for hospitalized older adults with cognitive impairment.
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