DESmart Lab

The Power of Senses: A Pilot Study on Multi-Sensory Environments and Their Effects on Sleep, Mood, and Stress in Older Adults with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

Sponsor: Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium

Team: Nina Sharp (PI), Jason Yeom (Co-I), Aaron Guest (Co-I), Melita Belgrave (Co-I), Mohammed Alrahyani (RA), Mahya Fani (RA)

Status: Active 


This study aims to evaluate the impact of two affordable multi-sensory environment interventions on BPSD patients in long-term care facilities. Specifically, the study will assess the efficacy of a Stimulating Multi-Sensory Environment (SMSE) in the morning and a Relaxing Multi-Sensory Environment (RMSE) in the evening. By doing so, this study will provide practical insights into the design and implementation of MSEs, including using light, sound, and aroma to improve the quality of life for BPSD patients. 


Study Design: Counterbalanced Crossover 

Tools: FitBit, Wearable Light Tracker, CSDD, CMAI 

Outcomes: Heart Rate Variability, Skin Temperature, Depression, Agitation, Sleep duration at night. 

Successful study completion will provide empirical evidence for multi-sensory interventions like MSSE and MSRE in improving the well-being of older adults with BPSD. The findings will contribute to the growing literature on non-pharmacological interventions, potentially reducing reliance on harmful medications and improving overall care quality.