Publication Date

Spring 2020

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jean Neils-Strunjas (Director). Jason Crandall, Janice Smith, and Brian Weiler

Degree Program

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Type

Master of Science


Research suggests nursing home residents are often socially isolated and physically inactive despite overwhelming evidence that both social engagement and physical activity are crucial for healthy aging (Jones, Sung, & Moyle, 2018; Yen & Lin, 2018; Ice, 2002; Jansson et al., 2017). Bingocize® is a program that combines exercise and the game of Bingo to improve the quality of life, physical health, and social engagement of certified nursing facility (CNF) residents. The purpose of this study is to determine the level of social engagement displayed by CNF residents during Bingocize® using the Fun and Social Engagement Evaluation (FUSE). Reliability and validity of the FUSE were also investigated.

The FUSE was administered to 57 nursing home residents across four Bingocize® sessions in each of four CNF locations. Two of the Bingocize sessions involved nursing home staff and university students interacting with residents (i.e. with students) and two other sessions were conducted by nursing home staff only (i.e. without students). Two additional sessions were completed at one CNF to gauge interobserver reliability of the FUSE.

Comparisons of FUSE scores from sessions with and without students via paired samples t-tests did not yield significant results (p>.05). Residents were not significantly more engaged when students were present. The Mann-Whitney U Test comparison of “happy” and “not happy” scores from all sessions was statistically significant indicating a direct positive relationship between observation engagement scores and self-reported happiness (p<.05). The vast majority of participants self-reported happiness (81.02%). Interobserver reliability of the FUSE was between 68%-100% agreement for each participant. The total average percent agreement for all participants was 80.9%. To account for chance agreement between the observers, the Cohen’s Kappa statistic was calculated (k=0.66).

Interobserver reliability measures and the Cohen’s Kappa statistic indicate substantial agreement on the FUSE between two observers (McHugh, 2012). A comparison of the FUSE and an independently developed tool for engagement, The Engagement of a Person with Dementia Scale (EPWDS; Jones, Sung & Moyle, 2018) revealed that the majority of items on both measures were similar in content thus supporting validity of the FUSE.


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Exercise Science | Geriatrics | Speech Pathology and Audiology