Use of Resident Satisfaction Surveys in New Jersey Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Published in: Journal of Applied Gerontology, v. 23, no. 2, June 2004, p. 156-171

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2003

by Nicholas G. Castle, Timothy J. Lowe, Judith A. Lucas, Joanne P. Robinson, Stephen Crystal

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In this article, the authors present the results of a questionnaire inquiring into the use and usefulness of resident satisfaction surveys sent to all nursing homes (N = 363) and assisted living facilities (N = 152) in New Jersey in fall 2000. The authors found 86% of nursing homes and 88% of assisted living facilities to be using resident satisfaction surveys. Satisfaction information was reported as extremely useful or very useful in 72% of nursing homes and 83% of assisted living facilities. However, satisfaction instruments used by nursing homes and assisted living facilities are highly varied, and instruments appear to have been developed largely on an ad hoc basis, with little attention to testing of validity or psychometric properties. Standardization initiatives are clearly needed. In addition, the uses of satisfaction information were limited and primarily aimed at administrative goals rather than at improving quality of care. These factors may restrict the potential benefits of resident satisfaction information.

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