Observations of activity levels and social interaction in a residential care setting

Catherine Sackley, Sonya Levin, Karina Cardoso, Thomas J. Hoppitt

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Immobility, inactivity and the lack of social interaction are associated with poor physical and mental health. The main aim of this study was to examine the type and frequency of activities and social interactions with took place in a care home for older people. Residents within the communal area of a care home were observed over a period of 16 hours at 10-minute intervals by two psychologists. Residents’ positions, activities and interactions were recorded. The majority of observations (97%) found residents sitting and not engaged in activity (60.7%). Only 10.7% of observations involved social interaction of residents either with each other or with a carer. The results demonstrate a very low level of daily activity and interaction in the care home setting. The risks of immobility and inactivity related complications such as pressure sores, muscle weakness, depression and anxiety are high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-373
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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