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


Cleary, M and Raeburn, T and West, S and Childs, C, The environmental temperature of the residential care home: Role in thermal comfort and mental health?, Contemporary Nurse, 55, (1) pp. 38-46. ISSN 1037-6178 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/10376178.2019.1583068


Background: In the midst of changing environmental conditions and increasing populationsaged over 65 years, how best to provide nursing care that promotes mental health and wellbeing within residential aged care facilities is an important concern.

Aim/Objective: To explore the perceptions of temperature control, thermal comfort and nursing care 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 older Australians living within an aged care facility. Interviews were taped, transcribed and then analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Five adults participated. Themes emerging included: (1) balancing nursing care and resident autonomy; (2) the importance of mobility to cope with temperature; and (3) reliance on habitual behaviour to cope with temperature. The importance of experiencing a sense of choice and ability to self-regulate personal environment arose as a substantial concern.

Conclusions: The attention of older residents to personal issues related to thermal comfort linked to physical and mental health emphasise the importance of concerns regarding mobility, nursing care and autonomy. For older age residents the interplay between thermal comfort and behaviour adaptation is influenced by nurses and their control of the residential environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptation, aged care, autonomy, mental health, physical health, thermal comfort
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Mental health nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
UTAS Author:West, S (Dr Sancia West)
ID Code:131053
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2019-02-28
Last Modified:2020-05-25

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