Health Scholars 2013-2015

Kaitlin Krauss and Sarah Birney

The undergraduate team of Health Studies Scholars, Kaitlin Krauss and Sarah Birney present data from the IHS effort at the Sigma Theta Tau Collaborative Scholarship day held at Yale University.

The Fairfield University Reminiscence in Long-Term Care research team is an interdisciplinary partnership between the School of Nursing and the Department of Psychology, funded through the Interdisciplinary Health Studies Initiative. Dr. Linda Henkel and Dr. Alison Kris are working together with undergraduate students majoring in nursing and psychology to develop interventions to help nursing home residents with mild to moderate cognitive impairment.

The interventions being explored are based upon previous research which suggests that the promotion of reminiscence activities in these residents may improve cognitive function, ameliorate feelings of depression, and help to improve quality of nursing care. The initial phase of the project centered on understanding the extent to which residents currently engage in reminiscence, with an exploration of the nursing home environment as one which may promote or impede opportunities for spontaneous reminiscence activities.

Throughout the project, students from both departments work collaboratively with faculty on all aspects of the research, from reviewing the literature in the field, to collecting data, to participating in the analysis of the data. As the project moves forward, students will join faculty in presenting results at regional and national conferences.