Beware of Data Gaps in Home Care Research: The Streetlight Effect and Its Implications for Policy Making on Long-Term Services and Supports

Deborah D. Newquist, Marguerite DeLiema, Kathleen H. Wilber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Policy initiatives increasingly seek greater use of home- and community-based services for older persons and those with chronic care needs, yet large gaps persist in our knowledge of home care, an indispensable component of long-term services and supports. Unrecognized data gaps, including the scope of home care provided by private hire and nonmedical providers, can distort knowledge and poorly inform long-term services and supports policy. The purpose of this article is to examine these gaps by describing the universe of formal home care services and provider types in relationship to major national sources. Findings reveal four distinct home care sectors and that the majority of formal home care is provided in the sectors that are understudied. We discuss the policy implications of data gaps and conclude with recommendations on where to expand and refine home care research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-640
Number of pages19
JournalMedical care research and review : MCRR
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.

Keywords

  • aging and disability services
  • home care
  • home health care
  • home- and community-based services (HCBS)
  • personal care aides

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