Cover: Differences in Care Provided in Urban and Rural Nursing Homes in the United States

Differences in Care Provided in Urban and Rural Nursing Homes in the United States

Literature Review

Published in: Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Volume 47, No. 12, pages 48–56 (2021). DOI: 10.3928/00989134-20211109-09

Posted on rand.org Jun 27, 2024

by Denise D. Quigley, Leah V. Estrada, Gregory Alexander, Andrew W. Dick, Patricia Stone

Despite evidence acknowledging disadvantages in care provided to older adults in rural nursing homes (NHs) in the United States, since 2010, no literature review has focused on differences in care provided in urban versus rural NHs. In the current study, we examined these differences by searching U.S. English-language peer-reviewed articles published after 2010 on differences in care quality in urban and rural NHs. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and used the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for quality appraisal. We conducted full-text abstraction of 56 (of 286) articles, identifying 10 relevant studies. Metric specification of urban/rural location varied, and care quality measures were wide-ranging, making it difficult to interpret evidence. Limited evidence supported that rural NHs, compared to urban NHs, provided sparse mental health support and limited access to hospice care after controlling for facility and resident characteristics. Our review highlights the need for more research examining differences in quality of care between urban and rural NHs and raises several issues in current research examining urban/rural NH differences where future work is needed.

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