5 years ago

The association between the physical environment and the well-being of older people in residential care facilities: A multilevel analysis

Susanna Nordin, Helle Wijk, Kevin McKee, Marie Elf
Aims To investigate the associations between the quality of the physical environment and the psychological and social well-being of older people living in residential care facilities. Background Many older people in care facilities have cognitive and physical frailties and are at risk of experiencing low levels of well-being. High-quality physical environments can support older people as frailty increases and promote their well-being. Although the importance of the physical environment for residents’ well-being is recognized, more research is needed. Design A cross-sectional survey of 20 care facilities from each of which 10 residents were sampled. As the individual resident data were nested in the facilities, a multilevel analysis was conducted. Methods Data were collected during 2013 and 2014. The care facilities were purposely sampled to ensure a high level of variation in their physical characteristics. Residents’ demographic and health data were collected via medical records and interviews. Residents’ well-being and perceived quality of care were assessed via questionnaires and interviews. Environmental quality was assessed with a structured observational instrument. Results Multilevel analysis indicated that cognitive support in the physical environment was associated with residents’ social well-being, after controlling for independence and perceived care quality. However, no significant association was found between the physical environment and residents’ psychological well-being. Conclusion Our study demonstrates the role of the physical environment for enhancing the social well-being of frail older people. Professionals and practitioners involved in the design of care facilities have a responsibility to ensure that such facilities meet high-quality specifications.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jan.13358

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