Nursing: Learning Theories

910 Words4 Pages
Psychological theories of learning have been embraced in many fields including nursing. Three prominent learning theories are behavioral theory, cognitive learning theory, and social learning theory. Behavioral theory traditionally concentrates on reinforcement or punishment as a method to learn, cognitive theory concentrates on mental representations or models as a means of learning and Bandura's social learning theory focuses on learning by observation, via modeling. The following three studies highlight these. Farran, C., Gilley, D., McCann, J., Bienias, J., Lindeman, D., & Evans, D. (2007). Efficacy of behavioral interventions for dementia caregivers. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 29 (8), 944-960. Recent studies have increasingly focused on behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease because of the negative caregiver reactions associated with these behaviors. Agitation and inappropriate verbal or motor activity are experienced by family caregivers as the most distressing behavioral symptoms. Caregiver emotional issues associated with severe care receiver agitation include depressive, emotional exhaustion, and a severe perceived burden of caregiving. Severe agitated behaviors also are predictive of the transition from informal family care to a nursing home or other long-term care facility. The researchers wanted to test the effects of caregiver skill building (CSB; behaviorally focused interventions to reduce agitation in the care receiver)
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