Environment & Communication Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care

Speech-Language Pathologists, Nurses,
and Occupational Therapists will love
this exciting new resource for dementia care!


Development of the Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care (ECAT)

  • Developed Over Three Years
  • Tested with Over 200 Clients with Dementia by 95 Speech-Language Pathologists, Nurses, Occupational and Physical Therapists
  • Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

ECAT was developed and thoroughly evaluated by

  • Speech-language pathologists and architects specializing in environments for people with dementia, and
  • A multidisciplinary advisory panel of experts in communication disorders, dementia, and environmental interventions.

Phase 1

  • Developed resources and demonstrated feasibility of ECAT for evaluating bedrooms and bathrooms in long-term care settings.
  • 30 speech-language pathologists tested ECAT with clients with dementia.
  • Results demonstrated a 100% increase in the number of environmental interventions that the speech-language pathologists recommended for clients.

Phase 2

  • The ECAT resource guide and assessment instruments were expanded and evaluated with a larger group of therapists.
  • The assessment was developed to evaluate the public spaces of long-term care facilities: circulation spaces, dining room, restroom, and leisure activity areas.
  • 59 speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and nurses tested ECAT for six months.
  • Effectiveness of ECAT was measured by four factors:
    1. Awareness of environmental interventions
    2. Impact of ECAT on practice
    3. Utility of the information
    4. Usability of the materials

Awareness

  • The increase in awareness of environmental modifications prior to and after training was highly significant.

Impact

  • The number of environmental modifications used with clients 2 and 5 months after training was significantly greater.
  • Average number of modifications per clinician prior to training (T1), 2 months after initial training (T2) and 5 months after continued training (T3).
  • Through the use of ECAT, the cost of environmental modifications was generally quite inexpensive (i.e., costing less than $100), particularly when compared to pharmacological and skilled service interventions.

Utility

  • More than 9 out of 10 clinicians surveyed rated the Introduction (96%), Environmental Intervention (96%), and Assessment Reference (94%) sections of the manual as helpful to very helpful.

Usability

  • 9 out of 10 (88%) clinicians agreed or strongly agreed that the information was easy to understand and almost 8 out of 10 (79%) agreed or strongly agreed that ECAT was easy to use.

 


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Environment and Communication
Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care
(ECAT)

Speech-Language Pathologists,
Nurses, and Occupational Therapists
Learn about this exciting new resource!

Available from
Health Professions Press


Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care (ECAT)

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