Concord, CA - Lori Reynolds, PhD, OTR/L, has been selected as the 2016 New Investigator Research Award recipient by The Center for Health Design’s Research Coalition. Lori is
an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University in the Occupational Therapy Program on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Her research, “Can a Virtual Nature Experience Reduce Anxiety & Agitation in People with Dementia?”, will build on the body of research that demonstrates that viewing nature reduces stress and improves mood.
With large numbers of individuals projected to have dementia and associated stressful dementia-related behaviors, this study will examine the effects of a non-pharmacologic intervention in reducing the most common of these behaviors - anxiety and agitation. Using a counterbalanced crossover design, residents with moderate to severe dementia in a memory care unit of an assisted living facility will be exposed to an indoor virtual sensory experience with high-definition video images of nature with nature sounds, and aromas. This treatment will be
evaluated for effectiveness versus a control condition of a generational movie. The outcome of this study holds promise in providing memory care facilities with a cost-effective means of managing stressful dementia-related behaviors.
As the award recipient, Lori will also serve as a member of CHD’s Research Coalition for one year, along with complimentary registration to the 2017 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, where she will have the opportunity to present her completed research study.
“This award is designed to encourage new researchers to turn their attention to evaluating how the built environment impacts healthcare outcomes”, stated Saif Haq, co-chair of CHD’s Research Coalition. “All applications undergo a rigorous peer-review process, conducted by CHD’s Research Coalition. It was our pleasure to select Lori Reynolds as the recipient of CHD’s 2016 New Investigator Award.“
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