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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • quality of life;
  • nursing homes;
  • long-term care;
  • health facility environment;
  • environment design

Objectives

To determine the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and environmental factors of temperature, noise, and lighting in nursing home residents with severe dementia.

Design

Cross-sectional, observational, analytical.

Setting

Eight public, long-term care nursing homes in the province of Girona, Spain.

Participants

Random sample of 160 nursing home residents with severe dementia.

Measurements

Functional and cognitive impairment, pain, neuropsychiatric disturbances, and QOL were determined using standardized instruments. Temperature, noise, and lighting in bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms were measured in the morning and afternoon using a multifunction environment meter in a standardized manner.

Results

Adjusted multivariate linear regression models demonstrated that environmental measures were independently associated with QOL and related factors. High temperature in the bedroom was associated with lower QOL (standardized β = 0.184), high noise levels in the living room were associated with low behavioral signs of social interactions (β = 0.196), and low lighting levels in the bedroom were associated with number of signs of negative affective mood (β = −0.135).

Conclusion

The QOL of nursing home residents with severe dementia was related to environmental factors such as temperature, noise, and lighting. The monitoring of these environmental factors may improve these individuals' QOL.