Les facteurs environnementaux sont reconnus comme des éléments importants dans les soins aux personnes atteintes de troubles cognitifs. Parmi ces facteurs, celui de l’apparence des soignants et plus particulièrement de leurs vêtements a été soulevée. L’étude originale nommée Street Clothes (STRECLO) est une étude observationnelle qui visait à démontrer que l’amélioration des relations des résidents avec les autres résidents eti avec les soignants pouvait être observée grâce au port de vêtements de ville par les soignants. Voir aussi le rapport de recherche (en français).
Aims and objectives To examine the impact of caregivers’ street clothes on people living in special care units (SCUs). We hypothesised that caregivers wearing street clothes would improve residents’ relationships with other residents and caregivers and, as a consequence, would improve their quality of life. Background Environmental factors have been recognised as important elements in the care of people with dementia. Among these factors, the importance of the caregivers’ appearance and more particularly their street clothes has been raised. Design The Street Clothes study (STRECLO) was designed as a multicentre crossover observational study. Method This study was conducted in two volunteer nursing homes. It involved videotaping residents (N = 24) over a 6-month period: caregivers wore uniform and then street clothes for two consecutive three-month periods. Three outcome measures were observed as follows: (a) behaviours of residents, (b) contents of conversations and (c) proximal interactions between residents and caregivers. The STROBE checklist was used to ensure quality reporting during this observational study. Results When caregivers wore street clothes, we observed the following: (a) greater solicitation and less anxiety in residents, (b) content of conversations between residents and caregivers included more personal and less health information, and (c) more proximal interaction between caregivers and residents. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first study which investigated the long-term effects on residents of SCU caregivers wearing street clothes. Our study demonstrated the potential benefit of not wearing uniform on the quality of life of institutionalised people with dementia. Relevance to clinical practice Given the budgetary constraints faced by nursing homes, wearing street clothes for caregivers could be readily applied to clinical practice and represents a promising way to increase the quality of life of dementia residents and their families.