The primary long-term goal of this project is to develop a useful, practical, valid, and reliable tool to improve the quality of life (QOL) of people in dementia care settings. Specific objectives of the Phase II project include developing and evaluating user-friendly software and procedures on the iPod Touch Platform to collect and manage QOL data and produce care-relevant information;and evaluate the longer term implementation of the mOQOLD system in diverse dementia care settings. Secondary long-term goals include: (1) increased satisfaction of dementia care staff, (2) increased satisfaction of family members of these participants, (3) improved marketability of the dementia care programs, and (4) developing benchmarking dementia-specific QOL data. Quality of life includes both subjective and objective elements. For instance, Whitehouse et al. include the integration of cognitive functioning, activities of daily living, social interaction, and psychological well-being. The proposed project uses an observational procedure that focuses on the level of engagement and affect/emotion of people with dementia to measure QOL. This study will assess the practicality, and usefulness of the mOQOLD system of data collection, data management, and information-generation implemented on the iPod Touch device and business intelligence platform. User-friendly software on an iPod Touch and procedures to record and manage dementia-specific QOL data and produce care-relevant information will be fully developed. Two staff members in each of ten dementia care settings including skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult day centers will be trained to use the system. Staff will collect data and generate reports regarding ten people with dementia over a seven-month period at each site. Surveys and interviews/focus groups with site staff participants, as well as data collected directly on the iPod Touch, will provide evaluative feedback regarding: the ease of data collection;the ease and usefulness of gathering data;the fit between the QOL system and a typical day in the care setting and any disruptions in the typical day caused by the system;specific ways in which the information could be used;suggestions for improving each component of the system;metrics such as errors that occurred during the process and the use of help menus. These data will be used to improve the functionality of the system to better meet the needs of users in the three types of dementia care settings.
The mOQOLD (mobile Observing Quality of Life in Dementia) system is a reliable, valid, and practical tool for researchers, practitioners, and assessors to obtain quality of life data about people with dementia in skilled care, assisted living, and adult day settings. mOQOLD will enable service providers to identify activities that maximize quality of life of people with dementia resulting in more positive, person-centered interactions. Additional benefits include improved ability to assess the impact of new activities/interventions, and developing quantitative information that can inform staff training, be shared with family members regarding their loved ones life, and be used by assessors to more accurately evaluate dementia care settings.