Researchers Create Tool for Evaluating Outdoor Environments in Long-Term Care

April 8, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A group of researchers has developed a tool to evaluate outdoor environments in long-term care settings, as described in a study in the April 2016 issue of The Gerontologist. The researchers examined the literature and conducted preliminary focus groups and written surveys in long-term care settings to elicit residents' preferences. They developed a pilot tool, which was tested with 152 outdoor spaces at 68 assisted-living facilities in three metropolitan areas with different climates. Validity was examined based on comparisons between the items and resident responses to the written survey, researchers' and residents' ratings of environmental characteristics in the same communities, and residents' levels of actual usage of outdoor areas and ratings achieved with the tool, as well as ratings by 53 subject matter experts.

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