The Seniors' Outdoor Survey: An Observational Tool for Assessing Outdoor Environments at Long-Term Care Settings. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To describe the development and psychometric testing of the Seniors' Outdoor Survey (SOS), an instrument for evaluating how well the outdoor space in a long-term care setting supports the preferences and outdoor usage of residents. DESIGN AND METHODS: Content validity of the main SOS items initially was based on relevant literature and preliminary studies in diverse long-term care settings. After conducting a multiregional pilot study with 152 outdoor spaces at 68 assisted living facilities, the instrument was substantially revised and tested for interrater and test-retest reliability with 22 outdoor spaces at 12 long-term care settings, using 2 raters. Validity was examined using content analysis of resident survey responses (N = 1,128) from the multiregional study and specific item validation by subject matter experts (N = 53). RESULTS: The final instrument contains 60 ratable items organized in 5 domains: access to nature (14 items), outdoor comfort and safety (15 items), walking and outdoor activities (14 items), indoor-outdoor connection (11 items), and connection to the world (6 items). Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) estimates of interrater reliability were .91 for the overall instrument, ranging from .83 to .98 for the 5 domains. Interrater reliability (ICC) was above .70 for more than 79% of individual items. Test-retest reliability (ICC) was .92, ranging from .81 to .98 for domains. IMPLICATIONS: The SOS tool fills a gap in the available environmental assessment instruments, providing a reliable way for researchers, providers, and designers to evaluate and compare the supportive potential of outdoor spaces for long-term care residents.

published proceedings

  • Gerontologist

altmetric score

  • 1.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Rodiek, S., Nejati, A., Bardenhagen, E., Lee, C., & Senes, G.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Rodiek, Susan||Nejati, Adeleh||Bardenhagen, Eric||Lee, Chanam||Senes, Giulio

publication date

  • April 2016