The Behaviour, Engagement, and Affect Measure (BEAM): Development of a computer-assisted observational tool. (Forum 2011)




Casey, Ms Anne-Nicole
Low, A/Prof Lee-Fay
Goodenough, A/Prof Belinda
Brodaty, Prof Henry


Casey, A-N., Low, L-F., Goodenough, B., & Brodaty, H. (2011, September). The Behaviour, Engagement, and Affect Measure (BEAM): Development of a computer-assisted observational tool. Poster presentation. ...... The behaviour, engagement, and affect measure (beam): development of a computer-assisted observational tool Casey AN1, Low LF1, Goodenough B1, 2, Brodaty H1 1University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2The Sax Institute, Sydney, NSW Background: There are limitations to the validity and reliability of self- or informant-report information collected about persons with dementia living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). This project aimed to develop a practical computer-assisted real-time observational tool to assess behaviour of persons with dementia. Methods: Researchers conducted a literature search of observational tools. Based upon this review, previous experience, and pilot observations, we developed a preliminary list of behaviours and situational factors to be assessed and codes for their measurement. The Behaviour, Engagement and Affect Measure (BEAM) program was created in Microsoft Access and installed on a Toshiba© Portégé© tablet computer. Observers trained to rate up to four residents simultaneously for 10- to 60-minute samples. The BEAM prototype was piloted and a version was finalised which maximised the number and descriptiveness of the behaviours observed while maintaining practicality of observational coding. Results: The BEAM enables real-time collection of observational data for up to four individuals concurrently. The BEAM records the duration and context of behaviour, type of affect, and level of agitation, felicity, and engagement. The number and type of social interactions are recorded as well as a global rating of resident well- or ill-being. Data from BEAM Access files can be transferred to IBM© SPSS© Statistics software for analysis. The BEAM will be available for demonstration during the poster session. Conclusions: The BEAM computer-assisted observational tool offers an efficient and practical alternative to paper-based observational assessment of resident behaviour in aged care settings. Further validation is currently in progress.