Nursing aides’ mentalization, expressed emotion, and observed interaction with residents with dementia: A quasi-experimental study

Liora Cohen, Efrat Sher-Censor, David Oppenheim, Ayelet Dassa, Liat Ayalon, Yuval Palgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the associations between nursing aides’ mentalization, expressed emotion, and observed sensitivity towards their residents with dementia. The study also explored whether nursing aides’ mentalization and expressed emotion are relational constructs that vary with residents’ characteristics and behavior. To assess mentalization and expressed emotion (i.e., criticism and positive comments), twenty nursing aides provided “Three Minutes Speech Samples” regarding two residents, one nominated by the head nurse as “difficult”, and one nominated as “easy”. Next, nursing aides were videotaped interacting with each of the two residents to assess their sensitivity and residents’ engagement. Findings indicated that nursing aides’ mentalization and positive comments were associated with their sensitivity. Nursing aides’ mentalization and positive comments did not vary with residents’ “easy” versus “difficult” nominations, but they were associated with residents’ engagement. Results suggest training and supervision programs should involve efforts to improve nursing aides' mentalization skills and their ability to perceive their residents positively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatric Nursing
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Tamar Har-Sagi for filming the interactions, Keren Klausner for her help in data collection, Ayala Barak and Tal Magal for their help in coding the Three Minute Speech Samples, and Haim Cohen for taking part in the statistical analyses. We are grateful to the nursing aides and residents for their participation in the study and to residents? custodians for enabling their participation. We would like to thank also Mr. Nitai Eliash for giving us the privilege to carry out this study in the Israeli Medical Center for Alzheimer's

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Paulina and Mans Graubard Foundation Grant and conducted in collaboration with the Israeli medical center for Alzheimer's . The funding source had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation and processing of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Dementia
  • Expressed Emotion
  • Long-term care
  • Mentalization
  • Nursing aides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology


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