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The environmental temperature of the residential care home: Role in thermal comfort and mental health?

Cleary, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1453-4850, Raeburn, T, West, S and Childs, C 2019 , 'The environmental temperature of the residential care home: Role in thermal comfort and mental health?' , Contemporary Nurse , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1080/10376178.2019.1583068.

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Background: In the midst of changing environmental conditions and increasing populationsaged over 65 years, how best to provide nursing care that promotes mental health andwellbeing within residential aged care facilities is an important concern.Aim/Objective: To explore the perceptions of temperature control, thermal comfort and nursingcare in a small group of older Australians.Design: Descriptive, qualitative study using thematic analysis.Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with a group of olderAustralians living within an aged care facility. Interviews were taped, transcribed and thenanalysed using thematic analysis.Results: Five adults participated. Themes emerging included: (1) balancing nursing care andresident autonomy; (2) the importance of mobility to cope with temperature; and (3) relianceon habitual behaviour to cope with temperature. The importance of experiencing a sense ofchoice and ability to self-regulate personal environment arose as a substantial concern.Conclusions: The attention of older residents to personal issues related to thermal comfortlinked to physical and mental health emphasise the importance of concerns regardingmobility, nursing care and autonomy. For older age residents the interplay between thermalcomfort and behaviour adaptation is influenced by nurses and their control of the residentialenvironment.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cleary, M and Raeburn, T and West, S and Childs, C
Keywords: adaptation; aged care; autonomy; mental health; physical health; thermal comfort
Journal or Publication Title: Contemporary Nurse
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1037-6178
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/10376178.2019.1583068
Copyright Information:

© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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