Matching Items (33)
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Research has demonstrated that temperature and relative humidity substantially influence overall perceptions of indoor air quality (Fang, Clausen, & Fanger, 1998). This finding places temperature quality as a high priority, especially for vulnerable adults over 60. Temperature extremes and fluctuation, as well as the perception of those conditions, affect physical

Research has demonstrated that temperature and relative humidity substantially influence overall perceptions of indoor air quality (Fang, Clausen, & Fanger, 1998). This finding places temperature quality as a high priority, especially for vulnerable adults over 60. Temperature extremes and fluctuation, as well as the perception of those conditions, affect physical performance, thermal comfort and health of older adults (Chatonnet & Cabanac, 1965, pp. 185-6; Fumiharu, Watanabe, Park, Shephard, & Aoyagi, 2005; Heijs & Stringer, 1988). The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have developed thermal-comfort standards for working-age, healthy individuals. None of these standards address the physiological and psychological needs of older adults (ASHRAE Standard 55, 2010; ISO-7730, 2005). This dissertation investigates the impacts of thermal conditions on self-reported health and perceived comfort for older adults, hypothesizing that warmer and more-table indoor thermal conditions will increase the health and perceived comfort of these adults. To this end, a new set of thermal comfort metrics was designed and tested to address the thermal preferences of older adults. The SENIOR COMFORT Metrics 2013 outlined new thresholds for optimal indoor high and low temperatures and set limits on thermal variability over time based on the ASHRAE-55 2010 model. This study was conducted at Sunnyslope Manor, a multi-unit, public-housing complex in the North Phoenix. Nearly 60% (76 of 118) of the residents (aged 62-82) were interviewed using a 110-question, self-reporting survey in 73 apartment units. A total of 40 questions and 20 sub-questions addressing perceptions of comfort, pain, sleep patterns, injuries, and mood were extracted from this larger health condition survey to assess health and thermal comfort. Indoor environmental thermal measurements included temperature in three locations: kitchen, living area, and bedroom and data were recorded every 15 minutes over 5 full days and 448 points. Study results start to indicate that older adults for Sunnyslope Manor preferred temperatures between 76 and 82.5 degrees Fahrenheit and that lower temperatures as outlined by ASHRAE-55 2010 increases the rate of injuries and mood changes in older adults among other findings.
ContributorsFonseca, Ernesto (Author) / Bryan, Harvey (Thesis advisor) / Ahrentzen, Sherry (Committee member) / Shea, Kimberly (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of building a storytelling system for older adults to tell and share their life stories based on email. It is measured by the level of participation and people's acceptance of the system. The central goals were to empower people over

The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of building a storytelling system for older adults to tell and share their life stories based on email. It is measured by the level of participation and people's acceptance of the system. The central goals were to empower people over 60 years old by providing a platform for them to share their wonderful life experience and perspectives on life and lead social services into the digital age by bridging traditional roundtable interaction and modern digital communication. A prototype was built to test the level of participation of the system and follow-up interviews were conducted in order to deeply understand people's acceptance. Content analysis was used to analyze the stories to ascertain what common themes were present. Key design considerations and key factors that affect the feasibility of storytelling system were discussed. This research expands on current research and implementation of Internet-based storytelling system and shed light on the future of combining storytelling with older adults' existing Internet knowledge. Key findings of this research are :(1) Frequency of reminiscence trigger and the number of active participants affect the level of participation collectively. Frequency is considered to be a key determinant. High frequency indicates high level of participation. (2) Categories of topics do not affect the level of participation significantly but serve as key attractions that enhance people's acceptance of the system. (3) Older adults highly accept and get involved in the new email storytelling system. This storytelling program helps them recall their memories and have a profound effect on their own introspection.
ContributorsLi, Yuanyi (Author) / Giard, Jacques R (Thesis advisor) / Margolis, Eric (Committee member) / Larkin, Kyle (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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Everyday speech communication typically takes place face-to-face. Accordingly, the task of perceiving speech is a multisensory phenomenon involving both auditory and visual information. The current investigation examines how visual information influences recognition of dysarthric speech. It also explores where the influence of visual information is dependent upon age. Forty adults

Everyday speech communication typically takes place face-to-face. Accordingly, the task of perceiving speech is a multisensory phenomenon involving both auditory and visual information. The current investigation examines how visual information influences recognition of dysarthric speech. It also explores where the influence of visual information is dependent upon age. Forty adults participated in the study that measured intelligibility (percent words correct) of dysarthric speech in auditory versus audiovisual conditions. Participants were then separated into two groups: older adults (age range 47 to 68) and young adults (age range 19 to 36) to examine the influence of age. Findings revealed that all participants, regardless of age, improved their ability to recognize dysarthric speech when visual speech was added to the auditory signal. The magnitude of this benefit, however, was greater for older adults when compared with younger adults. These results inform our understanding of how visual speech information influences understanding of dysarthric speech.
ContributorsFall, Elizabeth (Author) / Liss, Julie (Thesis advisor) / Berisha, Visar (Committee member) / Gray, Shelley (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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The treatment of individuals with multiple chronic conditions represents the single largest driver of Medicare costs. The use of prescription drugs is a major component in the treatment/management of chronic disease in the United States. Medication nonadherence, however, is a common problem among older adults and leads to significant morbidity

The treatment of individuals with multiple chronic conditions represents the single largest driver of Medicare costs. The use of prescription drugs is a major component in the treatment/management of chronic disease in the United States. Medication nonadherence, however, is a common problem among older adults and leads to significant morbidity and mortality. Whereas, the problem of medication nonadherence has been a primary focus of research for the last thirty years, much is still unknown about which older adults are most at risk for medication nonadherence, as well as what are effective theory-based interventions to improve a person's medication self-management.

The purpose of this descriptive explanatory study was to better understand the self-management behavior, medication adherence, in a sample of frail urban older adults. The study used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze data from a larger twelve-month study of a nurse care coordination intervention. Ryan and Sawin's (2009) Individual and Family Self-Management Theory served as the study's conceptual framework for identifying the context and processes involved in the older adults' medication self-management. Quantitative results found several individual- as well as family-level predictors for medication nonadherence. Qualitative analyses identified three overarching themes to describe the participants' struggles along the multistep process of medication adherence. Additionally, a cultural domain described the need for more information from participants to understand their nonadherence. Integration of the results further increased our understanding of medication-self management in these frail older adults, and offers direction for clinical practice and future research.
ContributorsO'Brien, Anne Marie (Author) / Marek, Karen D. (Thesis advisor) / Coon, David W. (Committee member) / Evans, Bronwynne C. (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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The population of older adults and the percentage of people living in urban areas are both increasing in the U.S. Finding ways to enhance city-dwelling, older adults' social integration, cognitive vitality, and connectedness to nature were conceptualized as critical pathways to maximizing their subjective well-being (SWB) and overall health. Past

The population of older adults and the percentage of people living in urban areas are both increasing in the U.S. Finding ways to enhance city-dwelling, older adults' social integration, cognitive vitality, and connectedness to nature were conceptualized as critical pathways to maximizing their subjective well-being (SWB) and overall health. Past research has found that gardening is associated with increased social contact and reduced risk of dementia, and that higher levels of social support, cognitive functioning, mindfulness, and connectedness to nature are positively related to various aspects of SWB. The present study was a pilot study to examine the feasibility of conducting a randomized, controlled trial of community gardening and to provide an initial assessment of a new intervention--"Mindful Community Gardening," or mindfulness training in the context of gardening. In addition, this study examined whether community gardening, with or without mindfulness training, enhanced SWB among older adults and increased social support, attention and mindfulness, and connectedness to nature. Fifty community-dwelling adults between the ages of 55 and 79 were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Traditional Community Gardening (TCG), Mindful Community Gardening (MCG), or Wait-List Control. The TCG and MCG arms each consisted of two groups of 7 to 10 participants meeting weekly for nine weeks. TCG involved typical gardening activities undertaken collaboratively. MCG involved the same, but with the addition of guided development of non-judgmental, present-focused awareness. There was a statistically significant increase in different aspects of mindfulness for the TCG and the MCG arms. The interventions did not measurably impact social support, attention, or connectedness to nature in this small, high functioning, pilot sample. Qualitative analysis of interview data from 12 participants in the TCG and MCG groups revealed that both groups helped some participants to better cope with adversity. It was concluded that it is feasible to conduct randomized, controlled trials of community gardening with urban older adults, and considerations for implementing such interventions are delineated.
ContributorsOkvat, Heather Audrey (Author) / Zautra, Alex J. (Thesis advisor) / Davis, Mary C. (Committee member) / Knopf, Richard C. (Committee member) / Okun, Morris A. (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2011
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Unintentional falls among community dwelling older adults are a common, serious and potentially preventable public health problem. In the United States, the annual incidence of fall related injuries per 100,000 persons was 4,616 in 2001, rising to 5,252 in 2008. The annual incidence of fall related deaths per 100,000 persons

Unintentional falls among community dwelling older adults are a common, serious and potentially preventable public health problem. In the United States, the annual incidence of fall related injuries per 100,000 persons was 4,616 in 2001, rising to 5,252 in 2008. The annual incidence of fall related deaths per 100,000 persons was 29.3 in 2000, rising to 41.86 in 2006. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to falls as they age. Potential consequences include fractures, emergency room, hospital and nursing home admissions, dependence, confusion, immobilization, depression, and death. Significant modifiable fall risk factors include muscle weakness, gait problems, and balance problems. While researchers have demonstrated the positive effects of balance and leg-strengthening physical activities, the majority of older adults do not engage in them, and the rate of falls continues to increase. Older adults participate in regular physical activity and fitness activities less often than younger populations; disparities are greater among those who are poor and living in rural communities. While knowledge about causes, risk factors, and efficacious physical activity to prevent falls has grown exponentially in the last several decades, bridging the gap between research and practice continues to be a challenge. As a strategy to address the gap between research and practice, this feasibility study utilized a tested theory, the wellness motivation theory, to address motivation for behavioral change in combination with instruction for physical activities proven to reduce fall risk. The study sample included rural, community dwelling older adults at risk of falls. The study included an innovative mobile computer to measure physical activity behavior and to augment motivational content of the intervention. Specific aims of this feasibility study were to: (a) examine the acceptability, demand, and implementation of the wellness motivation intervention (WMI) as well as the technology augmenting the WMI; and (b) evaluate the efficacy of the WMI to influence awareness of social contextual resources, behavioral change processes, physical activity, and fall risk. The WMI delivered in combination with proven multicomponent balance and strength activities was feasible and effectively increased motivation for behavioral change (social support from friends, awareness of social contextual resources, behavioral change processes) and physical activity behavior, and decreased fall risk among rural, community-dwelling older adults at risk of falls in this study. This study is the first step in a program of research focusing on enhancing motivation for physical activity that reduces falls and frailty among older adults.
ContributorsMcMahon, Siobhan (Author) / Fleury, Julie (Thesis advisor) / Belyea, Michael (Committee member) / Shearer, Nelma (Committee member) / Wyman, Jean (Committee member) / Hekler, Eric (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2012
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This study aimed to understand the factors that influence Chinese American older adults’ advance care planning (ACP) on end-of-life care. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Health Belief Model (HBM) were primarily applied to explain Chinese American older adults’ intentions toward two behaviors: 1) discussion of end-of-life care plans

This study aimed to understand the factors that influence Chinese American older adults’ advance care planning (ACP) on end-of-life care. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Health Belief Model (HBM) were primarily applied to explain Chinese American older adults’ intentions toward two behaviors: 1) discussion of end-of-life care plans with family members and 2) completion of an advance directive (AD). Additionally, acculturation and family cohesion were considered to examine their impacts on the TPB and HBM. A cross-sectional survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews on a sample of 298 community-dwelling Chinese-American adults aged 55 and older living in the metropolitan Phoenix area of Arizona. Based upon random assignment, 161 participants answered questions regarding discussing end-of-life care plans with family members, while 137 participants answered questions related to the completion of an AD. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to focus on the influence of TPB and HBM measures on behavioral intentions toward the two behaviors. Results indicated that both the TPB and HBM had predictive power to explain the target population’s intentions. However, the predictability of TPB and HBM measures varied across the two behaviors. Acculturation moderated the relationship between attitudes and intentions to complete an AD negatively. Family cohesion moderated the relationship between perceived benefits and intentions to discuss end-of-life care plans with family members negatively. These findings would help inform future interventions for improving the target population’s ACP awareness and engagement.
ContributorsLiu, Yanqin (Author) / Roberto, Anthony J. (Thesis advisor) / Mongeau, Paul (Committee member) / Thompson, Marilyn (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2018
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Description
ABSTRACT

This qualitative descriptive study described caregiver recognition of personal and social contextual resources guiding purposeful participation in self-care and well-being. This research builds on health empowerment theory, which conceptualizes health empowerment as an inherent, relational and ongoing process, expressive of health patterning of well-being (Shearer, 2009). By 2060, Americans 65

ABSTRACT

This qualitative descriptive study described caregiver recognition of personal and social contextual resources guiding purposeful participation in self-care and well-being. This research builds on health empowerment theory, which conceptualizes health empowerment as an inherent, relational and ongoing process, expressive of health patterning of well-being (Shearer, 2009). By 2060, Americans 65 years and older will number nearly 98 million, more than double that in 2013. The number of older adults aged 85 and older will double from 6 million in 2003, to 14.6 million by 2040 (Health & Human Services, 2014). Sixty-five million adults serve as informal caregivers, many themselves suffering from chronic conditions (National Alliance for Caregiving & AARP, 2009). Current research has examined the burden of caregiving, but little is known about caregiver strengths and resources that foster personal self-care and well-being. Twenty-one older adult informal caregivers participated in focus groups or individual interviews. Length of time as caregivers ranged from one year to more than ten years; 24% of the participants were men. Seventy-six percent of the participants reported having one or more chronic condition. Themes generated from qualitative content analysis provided a basis for validating and extending the health empowerment theory among older adult informal caregivers. Across participants, empowerment reflected recognition of strengths and resources, as well as growth consistent with valued goals facilitating new health patterns and well-being. The health empowerment theory perspective provided a relevant basis for theory-based intervention focused on promoting strengths, abilities and potential among older adults, limiting vulnerability to diminished health and well-being.
ContributorsBlank, Laura Jeanne (Author) / Fleury, Julie (Thesis advisor) / Kommenich, Pauline (Committee member) / Belyea, Michael (Committee member) / Kennedy, Teri (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2018
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This study investigated the effect of a small added load on postural stability in older adults. Sixteen healthy older adults (6 male, 10 female, age=72 ± 3.2y, height=172± 9.3 cm, weight=84± 7.6 kg) performed clinical measures of postural control with different loads placed on the shoulders (0%, 1% and

This study investigated the effect of a small added load on postural stability in older adults. Sixteen healthy older adults (6 male, 10 female, age=72 ± 3.2y, height=172± 9.3 cm, weight=84± 7.6 kg) performed clinical measures of postural control with different loads placed on the shoulders (0%, 1% and 3% bodyweight). The functional reach test, comprising a forward, right and left lateral reach, along with COP data measured through the use of a force plate were the postural control measures utilized in this study. COP data used were COP sway velocity and COP mean sway area, in the form of a 95% confidence ellipse. During the COP trials, visual input (eyes open and eyes closed) and surface conditions (firm and foam) were varied to evaluate the effect of the loads under different conditions. Two trials of each measurement were performed for all tests, and participants were allowed rest intervals as needed. Anticipated results show a decreased reach distance of 8% in the forward direction, and a 7% decrease in the left and right lateral directions under a 1% bodyweight load. For expected results of COP velocity, there will be a 12% increase from baseline COP sway velocity in the 1% bodyweight condition. Anticipated results for COP sway area show a 39% increase in the eyes open firm surface, under a 1% bodyweight load, and a 40% increase under the 3% load. These expected results show a significant effect on postural control with a 1% and 3% bodyweight load placed on the shoulders of older adults. This information may be valuable in combatting the epidemic of falls seen among the elderly population, as part of an exercise program for improving balance and postural stability.
ContributorsScherwinski, Eric (Author) / Dounskaia, Natalia (Thesis director) / Vidt, Meghan (Committee member) / Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)
Created2016-05
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The purpose of this paper was to review existing literature on exercise interventions to improve postural stability in older adults in order to assist with the development of a novel intervention with the same function. A brief review of balance changes with aging is followed by a summary of the

The purpose of this paper was to review existing literature on exercise interventions to improve postural stability in older adults in order to assist with the development of a novel intervention with the same function. A brief review of balance changes with aging is followed by a summary of the methods and findings of various interventions. Many types of interventions are discussed, including resistance training, balance training, t'ai chi, and whole body vibration. The studies show promising results, but none utilize the approach of the proposed intervention. This intervention being developed involves the use of a weighted vest to raise one's center of mass, creating a more unstable posture. Performing exercises or daily activities with the vest may improve balance by training muscles in unsteady conditions. The intervention principles to improve postural stability in older adults are beneficial to the foundation of future studies.
ContributorsWiedemann, Ava Marie (Author) / Dounskaia, Natalia (Thesis director) / Ringenbach, Shannon (Committee member) / Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor) / School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (Contributor) / School of International Letters and Cultures (Contributor)
Created2014-12