Functional outcome in home health: Do racial and ethnic minority patients with dementia fare worse?

Jinjiao Wang, Fang Yu, Xueya Cai, Thomas V. Caprio, Yue Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the independent and interactive effects of dementia and racial/ethnic minority status on functional outcomes during a home health (HH) admission among Medicare beneficiaries.

METHODS: Secondary analysis of data from the Outcome and Assessment Information Set [OASIS] and billing records in a non-profit HH agency in New York. Participants were adults ≥ 65 years old who received HH in CY 2017 with OASIS records at HH admission and HH discharge. Dementia was identified by diagnosis (ICD-10 codes) and cognitive impairment (OASIS: M1700, M1710, M1740). We used OASIS records to assess race/ethnicity (M0140) and functional status (M1800-M1870 on activities of daily living [ADL]). Functional outcome was measured as change in the composite ADL score from HH admission to HH discharge, where a negative score means improvement and a positive score means decline.

RESULTS: The sample included 4,783 patients, among whom 93.9% improved in ADLs at HH discharge. In multivariable linear regression that adjusted for HH service use and covariates (R2 = 0.23), being African American (β = 0.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.06, 0.35, p = 0.005) and having dementia (β = 0.51, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.62, p<0.001) were independently related to less ADL improvement at HH discharge, with significant interaction related to further decrease in ADL improvement. Relative to white patients without dementia, African American patients with dementia (β = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.81, 1.35, p<0.001), Hispanics with dementia (β = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.38, 1.47, p = 0.001) and Asian Americans with dementia (β = 1.47, 95% CI: 0.81, 2.13, p<0.001) showed the least ADL improvement at HH discharge.

CONCLUSION: Racial/ethnic minority status and dementia were associated with less ADL improvement in HH with independent and interactive effects. Policies should ensure that these patients have equitable access to appropriate, adequate community-based services to meet their needs in ADLs and disease management for improved outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0233650
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Americans
  • Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology
  • Dementia/epidemiology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Minority Groups
  • United States/epidemiology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article


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