The natural history of nursing home patients

Mary Ann Lewis, Shan Cretin, Robert L. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


To describe the natural history of nursing home care, 197 persons admitted to a random sample of 24 facilities were followed for at least 2 years after discharge. Four subgroups of patients were identified on the basis of different patterns of survival and use of health care resources. Just over 9% were discharged to their homes and received no further institutional care during the period of follow-up. Thirty-seven percent died in the nursing homes. The remainder (54%) transferred frequently between hospitals and nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
'The authors are indebted to the patients, their friends, and their families for reconstructing the utilization patters of health care facilities. We also thank the nursing homes and hospitals for their cooperation. Dr. Virginia Clark, UCLA School of Public Health, provided statistical consultation, and Paul Hoffman in the UCLA Office of Academic Computing performed the analytic services. Partial support for this study provided by the National Center for Health Services Research, Grant No. HSO4946. department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California by Los Angeles, Centcr for the Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


  • Episode of care
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing homes


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