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Table 1 Operationalisation of structural characteristics

From: Structural characteristics of specialised living units for people with dementia: a cross-sectional study in German nursing homes

Variable Description of the assessed item/calculation of the variable Level
Environmental characteristics   
Size Number of beds in the LU 1
Single rooms Number of single rooms in the LU 1
Building specific for residents with dementia The LU was built to host residents with dementia. 2
Architectural segregation from other units The LU is located in a separate building or floor or segregated by a closed door. 2
Exit control The living unit is protected by exit controls. 2
Permission to bring own furniture Residents are allowed to bring own furniture. 2
Furnishing of public rooms   2
▪ is solely functional Functional furniture is provided by the institution and designed for a special use.
▪ functional and individual Individual furniture is purchased from private people.
▪ solely individual
Accessible outdoor area An accessible outdoor area is defined as a garden, terrace or balcony that can be entered directly from the LU. If residents can go out alone, it is designed without any barriers. 2
▪ residents can go out alone
▪ residents can go out with attendance
▪ no outdoor area
Preparation of meals in the LU Meals are prepared in the kitchen of the LU. 2
Cooking lunch Lunch is cooked in the kitchen of the LU. 2
Meal serving system AMeal serving system for the majority of the residents 2
▪ Tray system AAll meals are already prepared on a tray when they arrive on the LU. 2
▪ Dish system AAll meals are portioned out by the staff individually for each resident on a plate.
▪ Buffet system AAll meals are self-service on a buffet.
▪ Homelike table system AAll meals are served homelike on the table.
▪ Mixed system Different systems are used for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Staff ratios   
Residents-per-registered nurse Number of residents on the day of data collection/number of registered nurses (defined as nurses with a minimum education of three years) 1
Residents-per-certified nursing assistant Number of residents on the day of data collection/number of certified nursing assistants (defined as nurses with a minimum education of one year) 1
Residents-per-nursing assistants Number of residents on the day of data collection/number of nursing assistants (defined as nurses without any education) 1
Residents-per-service staff member Number of residents on the day of data collection/number of service workers 1
Staff assignment and qualification   
▪ Constant assignment (nurses) Nurses are working exclusively in one designated LU. 2
▪ Constant assignment (service staff) Service workers are working exclusively in one designated LU. 2
▪ Continuous presence of a registered nurse A registered nurse is always present during day shift in the LU. 2
▪ Special qualification of head nurse in psychogeriatric care The head nurse of the LU has a special qualification in psychogeriatric care. 2
  1. AAll meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  2. 1 Numeric; 2 Dichotomous.