Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

College of Technology

Committee Member

Shinming Shyu

Committee Member

Deb de Laski-Smith

Committee Member

Jean Barnas-Haratsaris


This interior design research study explores the experience of direct dementia-care staff member tasks in relation to the physical environment. The study asked the following questions: 1) Do building elements in dementia-specific long-term care units interact with staff job satisfaction? 2) What building elements of patient direct-care are identified by staff as being helpful on the job and what are identified as a hindrance? 3) What, if any, environmental elements demand more dementia-specific modification? Physical environment assessments were collected, and surveys assessing job satisfaction and tasks relating to the physical environment were administered. Focus groups captured more detailed responses. Results positively support the first research question and also indicate that furniture, floor plan layout, semi-private rooms, break rooms, and bathrooms are themes associated with the second and third research questions. More research in the field is necessary.