K-State professor receives NIH funding for to improve dementia care environments for residents and workers
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Migette Kaup, professor in the Department of Interior Design and Fashion Studies, and her co-PI, Margaret Calkins of the IDEAs Institute, have been awarded a $246,000 research grant from the National Institute on Health, NIH, to validate a newly developed tool, the Environmental Audit Screening Evaluation, EASE. The EASE is an evidence-based instrument designed to evaluate the discrete elements of the household design in skilled care settings in a manner no other assessment tool does. This tool was developed from several comprehensive reviews of the research on designs for individuals living with dementia.
This project will assess the validity and reliability of the EASE tool against three validated environmental assessment instruments. This level of specificity is necessary to advance our understanding of the role of different aspects of the designed environment on a variety of quality indicators and outcomes related to clinical care as well as behavioral health. Kaup notes, “This research will address limitations of existing assessment instruments by identifying which elements of the environment are associated with specific outcomes for residents, staff, and organizations.”
Kaup has a background in applied research strategies regarding the relationship between the organizational and environmental factors of person-centered care. The outcomes of this project will be a continuation of her work to contribute to this body of knowledge, and make this information accessible to practitioners who can apply strategies that may make a significant and positive impact for people who live and work in long-term care settings.
Calkins is widely recognized as an expert in the creation and evaluation of long-term care settings, particularly for individuals with dementia. She is President of I.D.E.A.S., Inc., and Chair of the Board of the IDEAs Institute, both of which seek to improve environments for elders through the conduct of rigorous, applied research, dissemination of evidence-based information and resources, and individual partnering with designers and care providers.