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Research Article  |   January 2008
Impact of Participating in Volunteer Activities for Residents Living in Long-Term-Care Facilities
Author Affiliations
  • Hon Keung Yuen, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Educational Program, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425; yuen@musc.edu
  • Peng Huang, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Epidemiology, College of Graduate Studies, Medical University of Charleston, Charleston
  • Jerry K. Burik, MHS, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Educational Program, College of Health Professions, Medical University of Charleston, Charleston
  • Thomas G. Smith, PhD, is Associate Professor, Center for Academic Excellence, Medical University of Charleston, Charleston
Article Information
Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities / Productive Aging
Research Article   |   January 2008
Impact of Participating in Volunteer Activities for Residents Living in Long-Term-Care Facilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2008, Vol. 62, 71-76. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.1.71
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2008, Vol. 62, 71-76. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.1.71
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a volunteer activity on the perceived well-being of long-term-care (LTC) residents. Residents from five LTC facilities were randomly assigned into either a mentoring or a usual-care control group. Residents in the mentoring group tutored conversational skills to English-as-a-second-language students on a one-on-one basis for 1 hour twice per week for 12 weeks. Well-being, as a global outcome construct, was measured at baseline, after intervention, and at 3-month follow-up using the Geriatric Depression Scale, Life Satisfaction Index‚ÄďA, and a self-rated health question. After intervention, residents who participated in the mentoring group rated their level of well-being higher (p = .047) than those in the usual-care group on the basis of a multivariate nonparametric global statistical test. The positive effect of mentoring on well-being relative to the control was sustained at 3-month follow-up assessment (p = .029). Findings provide preliminary support for engaging LTC residents in volunteer mentoring activities to improve their well-being.