The relationship between nursing staffing levels and nursing home outcomes

Mary M. Bliesmer, Miles Smayling, Robert L. Kane, Iris Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of selected Minnesota nursing home attributes (size, ownership, noncompliance with a state correction order, and licensed and nonlicensed nursing hours) on specific outcomes (functional ability, discharge home, and death) for residents ages 65 and older, controlling for residents' age and previous functional ability. The functional outcome was operationalized by calculating the resident's Total Dependence Score (TDS), the total score on the assessment of eight activities of daily living (score range: 0-33). Ordinary least Squares regression analysis was used to estimate the effects of facility attributes, admission TDS, and age on resident outcomes, and nonlinear probability analyses were used to estimate the effects of facility attributes, admission TDS, and age on the probability of death or discharge home. In the year after admission, licensed (but not nonlicensed) nursing hours were significantly related to improved functional ability, increased probability of discharge home, and decreased probability of death, but when limited to chronic residents, the role of professional nursing hours virtually disappears. Overall, the findings support greater use of licensed nurses in the nursing home setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-371
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of aging and health
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998

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