Publications by authors named "Catherine Tompkins"

17 Publications

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A New Opportunity.

Ageing Int 2020 May 14:1-2. Epub 2020 May 14.

College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 1F8, Fairfax, VA USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12126-020-09373-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7221229PMC
May 2020

Compounding Complexity: Examining Multiple Factors Leading to Challenges Within Grandfamilies.

Gerontologist 2020 08;60(6):1094-1102

Department of Research, Saybrook University, Poway, California.

Background And Objectives: Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in the absence of the biological parents, often referred to as custodial grandparents, are prevalent across the United States. The objective of this project was to establish a grounded theory as a tool for practitioners and researchers to understand the experiences of members of grandfamiles.

Research Design And Methods: In-depth, unstructured interviews with custodial grandparents and grandchildren from 15 grandfamilies were conducted. Classic grounded theory was the methodology used to ask the question, "What are the challenges within grandfamilies and how do they respond to these challenges?"

Results: The theory emerging from the data, Compounding Complexity, provides an explanatory framework of three interrelated categories of factors that affect complexity in grandfamilies: situational, relationship, and emotional complexity. Conflict and change were found to be consistent across the categories of Compounding Complexity.

Discussions And Implications: Next steps include adding data from interviews with biological parents to Compounding Complexity and applying the theory. Understanding relationship, situational, and emotional complexity in the context of conflict and change enables practitioners to advance their work with grandfamiies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnz189DOI Listing
August 2020

A web-based training program for direct care workers in long-term care communities: Providing knowledge and skills to implement a music and memory intervention.

Gerontol Geriatr Educ 2020 Jul-Sep;41(3):367-379. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work, George Mason University , Fairfax,Virginia, USA.

As dementia increases and the availability of at-home caregivers decreases, the need grows for effective training for direct care workers. Direct care workers have demanding schedules with restrictive availability and lack professional incentives to pursue specialized training. This study explored the impact of the (, a web-based, micro-learning training for direct care workers, combined with the implementation of the Music & Memory intervention. The training provided a foundational understanding of dementia and the person-centered music intervention. Twenty-five direct care workers, across two long-term care communities, completed the training modules over four weeks. All participants completed a pre- and posttest, determining their knowledge and understanding of dementia and the Music & Memory intervention adopted by their facilities. Many workers found the training to be informative and inspiring, noting improved behaviors in residents during the implementation of the .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2019.1699074DOI Listing
December 2019

Results from a person-centered music intervention for individuals living with dementia.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019 Jan 20;19(1):30-34. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

George Mason University, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

Aim: Dementia is a chronic, costly disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Effective, affordable person-centered interventions are required to improve the lived experiences of individuals with dementia and their caregivers in various care settings. The present study examined the effects of a person-centered music listening intervention on mood, agitation and social engagement for individuals living with dementia.

Methods: This quasi-experimental study was carried out with participants at five community-based adult day health centers (n = 51). Standardized instruments were used to measure mood and agitation, and in-person and video-recorded observations of participant behavior were used to analyze changes before, during and after the intervention across four domains: mood, agitation, connecting to music and engaging socially. Within-person differences were examined using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, and between-group differences were examined using the Mann-Whitney U-test.

Results: Although standardized instruments did not yield statistically significant results, the behavioral observations showed a positive change in mood and a decrease in agitation. From pre- to post-intervention, there were statistically significant increases in joy, eye contact, eye movement, being engaged and talkativeness, and a decrease in sleeping and moving or dancing.

Conclusions: Behavioral observations show the positive impact a person-centered music listening intervention might have on individuals living with dementia and attending adult day health centers. This affordable intervention provides a useful tool for caregivers that might improve the day-to-day experience of individuals living with dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 30-34.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13563DOI Listing
January 2019

Advance Directives Information Delivery in Medicare/Medicaid-Funded Agencies: An Exploratory Study.

J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care 2018 Apr-Sep;14(2-3):177-193. Epub 2018 May 29.

c School of Social Work , Howard University , Washington , DC , USA.

To encourage citizens to plan their end-of-life care to protect their autonomy, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) in 1990. Under the PSDA, all Medicare/Medicaid-funded agencies are required to ask if all the patients, upon admission, have advance directives (ADs). If they have not formulated an AD, agencies need to inform that they have a right to do so and provide them with the written information. Although this is required by law, there is no universal procedure or set standard approach to deliver the information to patients in these agencies. It is often unclear who provides and explains information on ADs, and what materials are provided. The purpose of this study was to understand the procedures and challenges presented in the delivery of information about ADs in agencies in response to the PSDA requirements. Using a case study approach, semi-structured interviews with personnel in nine agencies were analyzed and three overarching themes were identified: organizational procedures, staff interactions, and staff perceptions. The findings indicated that there is a need for AD-specific training for staff responsible for delivering AD information to their clients. Implementation of a formalized procedure/guidelines for information delivery would be helpful to maintain quality standards across agencies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15524256.2018.1460742DOI Listing
December 2019

"Maintaining connections but wanting more": the continuity of familial relationships among assisted-living residents.

J Gerontol Soc Work 2012 ;55(3):249-61

Department of Social Work, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, USA.

Social support is a key component of well-being for older adults, particularly for those who have moved from independent living to assisted living involving a transformation of roles, relationships, and responsibilities. Twenty-nine assisted-living facility residents were interviewed to understand the perceived continuity of relationships with family and friends. An inductive approach to thematic analysis revealed 1 main theme and 3 subthemes. The main theme that emerged was: maintaining connections but wanting more. Residents appreciated maintaining connections with family and friends, but often expressed feelings of discontentment with the continuity of former relationships. The subthemes included: appreciating family and friends, waiting for more, and losing control. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2011.639439DOI Listing
August 2012

Perceptions of professionalism among nursing faculty and nursing students.

West J Nurs Res 2013 Feb 16;35(2):248-71. Epub 2011 May 16.

School of Nursing, McMaster University, 1200 Main St. West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Although there is no consensus about the definition of professionalism, some generally recognized descriptors include knowledge, specialization, intellectual and individual responsibility, and well-developed group consciousness. In this study, Q-methodology was used to identify common viewpoints about professionalism held by nursing faculty and students, and four viewpoints emerged as humanists, portrayers, facilitators, and regulators. The humanists reflected the view that professional values include respect for human dignity, personal integrity, protection of patient privacy, and protection of patients from harm. The portrayers believed that professionalism is evidenced by one's image, attire, and expression. For facilitators, professionalism not only involves standards and policies but also includes personal beliefs and values. The regulators believed that professionalism is fostered by a workplace in which suitable beliefs and standards are communicated, accepted, and implemented by its staff. The differences indicate that there may be numerous contextual variables that affect individuals' perceptions of professionalism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0193945911408623DOI Listing
February 2013

A case study of professional change: the impact of the National Gerontological Social Work Competencies Survey.

Gerontol Geriatr Educ 2010 ;31(3):256-73

School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

Our society is aging, and this demographic change necessitates that all social workers have basic competency in gerontology. This article describes the results of a competency survey conducted in 2000, and how these results helped transform basic social work curricula and enhance gerontology-related resources. Results were used to encourage and assist social work faculty to infuse gerontological content into social work curriculum, which helped practitioners to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the needs of a growing aging population. This social work education framework can be replicated in an effort to infuse gerontology content throughout other disciplines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2010.503135DOI Listing
December 2010

How can Rorty help nursing science in the development of a philosophical 'foundation'?

Nurs Philos 2009 Apr;10(2):81-90

School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

What can nurse scientists learn from Rorty in the development of a philosophical foundation? Indeed, Rorty in his 1989 text entitled Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity tantalizes the reader with debates of reason 'against' philosophizing. Forget truth seeking; move on to what matters. Rorty would rather the 'high brow' thinking go to those that do the work in order to make the effort useful. Nursing as an applied science, has something real that is worth looking at, and that nurse researchers need to think about. And as a profession built upon relationships, we should be thinking of the exchanges we have with those around us, of the contrasts in vocabularies used and of the contingencies involved, letting this launch us into our imaginings and areas of enquiry. The business of nurse researchers is to study what nurses do--how we care; Rorty would have us care. But, not to dismiss the reflective thinker as Rorty advocates for the self-doubting ironist to continue to seek the final vocabulary, the ideal of what 'this' means, accepting this as the best to be offered at the time. As a science struggling to find foundation, we need only to look at what we do and value--as antifoundational as Rorty portrays himself, Rorty 'ironically' may have revealed a foundation for nursing science that is consistent with its path.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-769X.2008.00364.xDOI Listing
April 2009

Older adults with Alzheimer's disease in a faith community.

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 2008 Jan;46(1):22-5

Social Work Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.

In the first phase of this study, focus groups were conducted with 12 clergy to explore how to meet the needs of Alzheimer's disease patients and their families. The clergy reported that although they do reach out to these families, they have not received formal training, so they often do not know what families need. Members of their congregations who are trained in working with Alzheimer's patients need to partner with the clergy in reaching out to these families. Although this article mainly focuses on the clergy's perspective, in the second phase of the study, caregivers and early-stage Alzheimer's patients were asked to describe their experiences of spiritual connections related to Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20080101-12DOI Listing
January 2008

Collaborating, teaching and learning in a cyberspace community: a virtual AGE experience.

J Gerontol Soc Work 2007 ;50(1-2):119-34

George Mason University, Social Work, Fairfax, VA 22032, USA.

This paper describes one outcome of a collaborative teaching and learning partnership between two Universities via a Web-based environment. A description and evaluation of a semester-long project combining students from two different universities is examined. A total of 22 students participated as members of six different virtual health-care teams. Each team was charged with (1) creating a team contract; (2) completing an electronic patient medical record; and (3) a patient care plan. Students posted to discussion threads regularly using learning objects developed by faculty for Virtual AGE (vAGE-Active Gerontology Education). The successes and lessons learned for both students and faculty are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J083v50n01_09DOI Listing
January 2008

Who will care for the grandparents? Exploring relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 2007 05;45(5):19-22

Social Work Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.

Adult children are often identified as primary caregivers for their older adult parents; however, in a growing number of cases, the adult child does not become the caregiver. Evidence of this includes the growing social phenomenon of grandparents raising their grandchildren. In this qualitative research project, the long-term caregiving relationship between grandparents and grandchildren living in grandparent-headed households was explored through interviews with three grandparent-grandchild dyads. The ongoing relationship in the dyads did not seem to mimic a parent-child relationship or a grandparent-grandchild relationship, but instead a third kind of relationship that requires further exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20070501-06DOI Listing
May 2007

Increasing aging and advocacy competency: the intergenerational advocacy pilot project.

J Gerontol Soc Work 2006 ;48(1-2):179-92

The Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Strengthening Aging and Gerontology Education for Social Work (SAGE-SW) project, funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation partnered with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) to develop an Intergenerational Policy and Advocacy Project (IAP). This curriculum pilot project, based on a community organization model, was conducted with 13 baccalaureate social work (BSW) and master's social work (MSW) programs across the country and 122 students. The project was one method to pursue CSWE SAGE-SW's efforts to infuse aging content into social work foundation curricula, to support intergenerational teaching, to strengthen social work advocacy skills, and to provide social work students with positive experiences working with older adults. Pilot sites were asked to carry out the project as part of an existing course foundation or field practicum course. Project activities included collaboration with a variety of community agencies, holding issues or "town hall" forums in order to educate community members about critical policy issues affecting older adults; making contacts and establishing relationships with local, state and/or federal legislators; and conducting assessments of the service needs of older adults in the students' communities. Questionnaires, feedback, pre-post evaluations as well as brief accounts of each project are presented. Participants considered the IAP to be a successful project in terms of the objectives of increasing awareness and competency among social work students of aging issues and of promoting intergenerational linkages between older people and social work students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J083v48n01_12DOI Listing
August 2007

Developing visibility for aging in social work: the first NGSWC.

J Gerontol Soc Work 2006 ;48(1-2):1-8

In March 2001, the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Strengthening Aging and Gerontology Education for Social Work (SAGE-SW) project published an action agenda for social work and aging (CSWE/SAGE-SW, 2001). CSWE SAGE-SW, funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation from 1998 to 2004, had several charges in the first phase of funding, including the gathering of data through a thorough review of literature, focus groups, surveys and a variety of activities to garner expert input. This agenda, often referred to as the Blueprint, identified a number of serious issues regarding the lack of attention, preparation, leadership and interest in aging within the social work profession. It also provided some recommended actions to address these issues and help set the stage for the creation of the National Gerontological Social Work Conference. What were the issues at hand and why might a National Gerontological Social Work Conference (NGSWC) address some of these issues?
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J083v48n01_01DOI Listing
August 2007

Keeping close: mothering with serious mental illness.

J Adv Nurs 2006 Apr;54(1):20-8

Department of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to describe the experiences of mothers with serious mental illness from their perspectives and how they attempted to manage their mothering circumstances.

Background: The desire to mother in women with serious mental illness is increasingly acknowledged by healthcare professionals. For these women, mothering is often framed as a pathological problem needing professional intervention. Yet little is known about mothering and illness from the perspectives of the mothers themselves.

Method: Using Glaser's grounded theory approach and both purposive and theoretical sampling, interviews were conducted with 20 mothers who were receiving treatment for mental health problems. The data were collected in 2002.

Findings: We found the core category of Keeping close described mothers' efforts to have meaningful relationships with their children in the context of illness and suffering. To this end, mothers chose strategies that would hide illness for the sake of protecting their roles and their children. These strategies--masking, censoring speech, doing motherwork and seeking help--served to imitate ideal perceptions of mothering while making illness invisible to their children. Mothering in illness, however, became a vortex of contradictions, resulting in mothers 'hitting bottom', a point in time when they realized they could not keep close via pretences. To return to the valued place of mother, they sought treatment, hoping to learn how to be with their children authentically.

Conclusion: To assist mothers with serious mental illness, healthcare professionals must be sensitive to the social and cultural context in which they mother in order to create healthier possibilities for nurturing their children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03785.xDOI Listing
April 2006

Personal assistance providers' mistreatment of disabled adults.

Health Soc Work 2004 Aug;29(3):177-88

School of Social Work, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 21201, USA.

This article describes a survey of 84 adults with disabilities who received personal assistance with activities of daily living from family members, informal providers, or agency personnel. Results showed that 30 percent reported mistreatment from their primary provider, and 61 percent reported mistreatment by another provider. Verbal abuse, physical abuse, and theft or extortion were the most common forms of mistreatment by primary providers. Verbal abuse, neglect, poor care, and theft were the most common forms of mistreatment by other providers. Adults with lower incomes were the most likely to experience mistreatment. Male providers were more likely to mistreat, as were providers who were inexperienced and who provided more than 50 hours of care per week.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hsw/29.3.177DOI Listing
August 2004