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Measuring the therapeutic properties of nursing home environments in the Italian context: findings from a validation and cross-sectional study design

Palese, A.; Decaro, A.; Bressan, V.; Marin, M.; Achil, I.; Hayter, M.; Watson, R.


A. Palese

A. Decaro

V. Bressan

M. Marin

I. Achil


BACKGROUND: The social and the physical features of the nursing home (NH) environment can offer a therapeutic support capable of maximising residents' physical and cognitive functions. A total of 23 instruments evaluating the therapeutic properties of a NH has been documented to date; among them, the most recent and widely used is the Therapeutic Environment Screening Survey for Nursing Homes (TESS-NH) composed of 13 domains and 84 items: higher scores in each domain indicate a higher presence of therapeutic principles. Validating the Italian version of TESS-NH tool and describing the therapeutic properties of Italian NH environments were the aims of this study. STUDY DESIGN: A validation and a cross-sectional study design, undertaken in 2017. METHODS: After having ensured the cross-cultural and the conceptual equivalence, together with the face and the content validation, 13 NHs accounting for 1,161 beds and articulated in 31 units have been evaluated with the TESS-NH tool via direct observation by trained researchers. Inter-rater reliability, test-retest, criterion validity, inter-dimension correlations and internal consistency were measured. Descriptive statistics was also calculated. RESULTS: The inter-rater reliability was Pearson (r) >0.917 for continuous variables and weighted kappa statistics (k) of > 0.779 for non-continuous variables; the test-retest reliability was r > 0.848 and k of > 0.778, respectively. The criterion validity was r > 0.500 between each dimension and the single TESS-NH global item; moreover, correlations among the domains varied from not significant to significantly strong, while the internal consistency resulted in all evaluable dimensions in Cronbach alpha > 0.600. In the involved NH units, the TESS-NH total score was on average 122.19 out of the possible score from 0 to 149 (confidence interval (CI) 95%, 115.89-128.49). 25% of the units (=7) reported a total score of ≤ 113, and another 25% reported scores ≥ 133, thus from poor to excellent therapeutic properties. CONCLUSION: The TESS-NH tool can be used in Italian facilities to support managers and researchers in evaluating the therapeutic properties of NH environments. Furthermore, the tool can support the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventional studies or quality improvement projects aimed at improving the NH's environment.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Annali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunita
Print ISSN 1120-9135
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 117-131
Series ISSN 1472-6963
APA6 Citation Palese, A., Decaro, A., Bressan, V., Marin, M., Achil, I., Hayter, M., & Watson, R. (in press). Measuring the therapeutic properties of nursing home environments in the Italian context: findings from a validation and cross-sectional study design. Annali di Igiene, 32(2), 117-131.
Keywords Environmental therapeutic properties, nursing home environment, measurement instrument, Therapeutic Environment Screening Survey for Nursing Homes Key words: Casa di Riposo; Proprietà terapeutiche; Misurazione; Ambiente; Therapeutic Environment Screening
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