Creating Capacity to Manage Responsive Aggressive Behaviours

Project Lead

Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.

Dr. Suzette Bremault-Phillips

In collaboration with the Misericordia Community Hospital (acute care), Capital Care Lynnwood (long term care), and Balwin Villa (supportive living).


Responsive behaviours are forms of communication in response to something important to the individual regarding their personal, social or physical environment. If such behaviours are aggressive, they can present concerns for health care professionals who may lack the knowledge or capacity to respond appropriately.

The goal of this project is to explore a process to support staff in building their capacity to manage responsive aggressive behaviours in a way that gives residents better outcomes.

Project Summary

Drawing on learning and resources from local, provincial and national initiatives to create a capacity building process and examine its applicability in Alberta’s acute care, long-term care, and supportive living facilities.

This project saw the development of a DMCA Model Implementation and Sustainability Framework. The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) framework most appropriately served as the backbone for this work and template upon which the stages of implementation were framed. Once determined, the team engaged senior leaders regarding the alignment of the framework with the DMCA Model and its utility for implementing, spreading and sustaining it.


  1. A NIRN-informed implementation framework for the DMCA Model
  2. A practical, evidence-informed toolkit that offers information and resources related to the DMCA Model (including this framework) is currently being developed.
  3. A DMCA education training and support inventory (DETSI)

impact and Ultimate Success

The implementation framework will enhance delivery of person and family-centred care, clarify the DMCA process, support the DMCA Model’s widespread implementation and spread, create greater consistency of use of the Model across the province and by various healthcare professionals, encourage fidelity regarding DMCAs and use of the Model, and enhance the likelihood of sustainability.

Ultimate success would be the widespread use of standardized DMCAs offered equitably to all Albertans, and adoption of the DMCA model across organizations and endorsed at the provincial level.