A New Tool Applies Research to Assisted Living Design

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$747,815.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
2R44AG024786-02
Award Id:
71089
Agency Tracking Number:
AG024786
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
ARKITEX STUDIO, INC., 511 UNIVERSITY DR E, STE 201, COLLEGE STATION, TX, 77840
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
SUSAN RODIEK
(979) 862-2234
rodiek@tamu.edu
Business Contact:
(979) 260-2635
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The built environment can promote health by meeting the behavioral needs of residents in long-term care settings. Spending even moderate amounts of time outdoors can potentially benefit mental and physical health by increasing activity levels and providing contact with natural environments. Assisted living residents are known to value outdoor access and perceive health benefits, but are frequently discouraged from going outdoors by the design of outdoor areas and transition zones. With little or no increase in cost, the provider industry could design more successful outdoor access by applying environment-behavior principles, but the available information is not formatted in a way that is easily applied to facility design. This Phase II SBIR project will create an interactive multimedia educational series to convey these principles to key decision makers in the assisted living industry, in a way that is easily understood and applied by developers, owner operators, architects, and planning officials. In Phase I, a prototype was developed to test the feasibility of this approach, as a sample CD-based program that was subsequently evaluated by industry professionals as being worth developing further into the final product in Phase II. For Phase II, the Specific Aims will be: Aim 1) Develop the subject matter for the complete series, based on translational research and post-occupancy evaluations conducted to integrate existing research; Aim 2) Create the visual, verbal, interactive, and instructional components that comprise the educational experience, incorporating improvements learned in Phase I; and Aim 3) Produce a final comprehensive version of the CD-based multimedia series, using interactive learning concepts to address the diverse skill sets of a broad target audience, with a user-friendly interface that combines information with activities and challenges. While Phase I developed a prototype format and preliminary subject matter for one learning module, Phase II will refine the format, conduct further research to confirm the primary behavioral principles, and create a comprehensive set of learning modules. The research conducted in Phase II will be useful to both researchers and designers in the field of evidence based therapeutic design. Phase III will develop and market the product in collaboration with an established educational publisher, using distribution networks within the long-term care and healthcare design industries, from contacts that have been established during the Phase I evaluation process. Facilities applying the product will gain a competitive edge by better meeting the needs of residents. Because this innovative learning tool will be marketed aggressively and is highly application-oriented, it is expected to have a significant impact on future design of outdoor access at assisted living facilities.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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