Publications by authors named "Jennifer E Cross"

4 Publications

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Surviving and Thriving: Qualitative Results from a Multi-Year, Multidimensional Intervention to Promote Well-Being among Caregivers of Adults with Dementia.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 04 29;18(9). Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

(1) Introduction: Caring for an adult with dementia is both challenging and rewarding. Research indicates that community-based, social support, and/or arts engagement interventions can play a key role in ameliorating the negative outcomes associated with caregiving while enhancing its more positive attributes. This study explores the psychosocial outcomes experienced by dementia caregivers who participated in a multi-year, multidimensional intervention aimed at promoting caregiver and care recipient well-being. This intervention included bringing caregivers and people with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias (ADRD) to local symphony performances, hosting a social reception prior to the performance, and assessing the outcomes of participation for both caregiver and the care recipient. (2) Materials, Methods, and Analysis: Qualitative data from participant phone interviews ( = 55) as well as focus groups are analyzed using thematic analysis from a phenomenological perspective. (3) Results: Across three years of participation, caregivers reported three main program benefits: relationship building (both with other participants as well as within the broader community); restored humanity (experiencing a greater sense of personal dignity and momentary return to normalcy), and positivity (experiencing positive emotions during the program). (4) Discussion: These findings point to the value of creating caregiver programming that brings together multiple dimensions of successful interventions in order to enhance caregiver experiences and positive intervention outcomes.
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April 2021

A comparison of quality of life indicators during two complementary interventions: adaptive gardening and adaptive riding for people with dementia.

Complement Ther Med 2021 Mar 8;57:102658. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, United States.

Objectives: We sought to provide a fine-grain description and comparison of how people living with dementia responded to adaptive gardening and adaptive riding through durations of their observed participation and emotional well-being, two dimensions of quality of life.

Design: A descriptive case study design enabled in-depth description and comparison of participation and emotional well-being, two quality of life indicators, observed during four videotaped sessions of adaptive gardening and adaptive riding.

Interventions: Eight people living with dementia self-selected into one of two complementary interventions, community-based adaptive gardening (n = 4) or adaptive riding (n = 4), in Northern Colorado. Both occurred for hour-long, weekly sessions for eight-weeks.

Outcome Measure: Durations of observed quality of life indicators of participation and apparent affect were documented using a modified version of the Activity-in-Context-in-Time on 31 hours of videotaped data. Durations for each quality of life indicator were averaged per participant and aggregated by group for comparison using a Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U test RESULTS: Both interventions supported emotional well-being and participation. Longer durations of active participation were observed during adaptive riding with significantly higher durations of complex active participation (U = 16, p= 0.029).

Conclusion: Both interventions supported quality of life and merit continued development. Adaptive riding appeared to support longer durations of active participation with more complex forms when compared to adaptive gardening. Findings can inform healthcare providers' recommendations for adaptive gardening and adaptive riding for people with dementia. More research is needed with a larger sample size to further examine similarities and differences.
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March 2021

B Sharp-The cognitive effects of a pilot community music program for people with dementia-related disorders.

Alzheimers Dement (N Y) 2019 11;5:592-596. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Introduction: Dementia has been described as the greatest global challenge for healthcare in the 21st century. Pharmaceutical interventions have dominated dementia treatment despite limited efficacy. There is increasing interest in alternatives to delay the progression of cognitive decline, such as community-based programs, promoting social and stimulating experiences. This article discusses a pilot music-based community program (B Sharp) for persons with dementia-related disorders.

Method: In the pilot study, we assessed 23 persons with dementia-related disorders who, with their caregivers, attended the symphony season and accompanying social hours over a 10-month period. Participants completed a baseline and follow-up brief neuropsychological test to assess cognitive changes.

Results: Significant improvements were observed between the pre- and post-B Sharp program assessments ( < .010).

Discussion: Results support the feasibility of the B Sharp program as a community-based program to target cognitive decline. Additional research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved in the improvements observed in this program.
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October 2019

A Multidisciplinary Research Framework on Green Schools: Infrastructure, Social Environment, Occupant Health, and Performance.

J Sch Health 2017 05;87(5):376-387

Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, 1784 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1784.

Background: Sustainable school buildings hold much promise to reducing operating costs, improve occupant well-being and, ultimately, teacher and student performance. However, there is a scarcity of evidence on the effects of sustainable school buildings on health and performance indicators. We sought to create a framework for a multidisciplinary research agenda that links school facilities, health, and educational outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a nonsystematic review of peer review publications, government documents, organizational documents, and school climate measurement instruments.

Results: We found that studies on the impact of physical environmental factors (air, lighting, and thermal comfort) on health and occupant performance are largely independent of research on the social climate. The current literature precludes the formation of understanding the causal relation among school facilities, social climate, occupant health, and occupant performance.

Conclusions: Given the average age of current school facilities in the United States, construction of new school facilities or retrofits of older facilities will be a major infrastructure investment for many municipalities over the next several decades. Multidisciplinary research that seeks to understand the impact of sustainable design on the health and performance of occupants will need to include both an environmental science and social science perspective to inform best practices and quantification of benefits that go beyond general measures of costs savings from energy efficiencies.
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May 2017