Impact of the Eden Alternative™ on Texas Nursing Homes Residents' Quality of Life: A Psychosocial Perspective
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What effect does the Eden Alternative™ have on the quality of life of nursing home residents? Recent studies on this innovative approach to changing nursing home culture have yielded promising results using medical and administrative indicators. However, these studies have limited outcomes on psychosocial issues that influence the quality of life for nursing home residents. The purpose of this study was to address this limitation by conducting a more in-depth evaluation of the effectiveness of the Eden Alternative™ on nursing home residents' quality of life using scientifically proven reliable and valid psychosocial instruments; the Life Satisfaction Index (LSI) and the Sheltered Care Environment Scale (SCES) were chosen to measure the psychosocial variables. The evaluative research consisted of a two-year longitudinal study using a comparison pretest-posttest design. Three Texas nursing homes that initiated the Eden Alternative™ process ,were compared with two Texas nursing homes that did not initiate any aspect of the Eden Alternative™ model. The administration of questionnaires to residents, families, and staff were the primary means of data collection. Results brought to light two major issues that impacted the quantitative and qualitative outcome data. First, certain challenges surfaced during implementation of the Eden Alternative™ process. Secondly, clinical significance was not supported by the data. A discussion of these issues as well as recommendations for future research is provided.