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West J Nurs Res. 2006 Feb;28(1):89-104.

Environmental ambiance as a new window on wandering.

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  • 1University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor 48109-0482, USA. lyao@umich.edu


This cross-sectional study explored relations between environmental ambiance and locomotion behaviors of elders with dementia (EWD), addressing the larger goal of developing theory explaining how environment affects wandering and other behaviors, thereby illuminating a pathway to intervention. A sample of 47 EWD (older than age 65, Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] < or =23) from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities were studied through a random, cluster, sampling strategy. Participants were measured once for stable characteristics and videotaped for 12, randomly chosen, 20-minute periods over 2 separate days at least 48 hours apart. Hierarchical liner modeling was used to analyze data that focused on the observation as the unit of analysis, with repeated observations nested within participants. Results validated an influence of ambiance on locomoting behaviors, highlighting the importance of addressing the emotional valence of social and physical environments in care of EWD.

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