Resident Choice: A Nursing Home Staff Perspective on Tensions and Resolutions

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Abstract

A central component of person-centered care, resident choice in daily life, has received little research attention in the U.S. context. This study investigated nursing home staff experiences in realizing resident choice. Twenty-six qualitative staff interviews were conducted in an opportunistic sample from two Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Community Living Centers (CLCs, i.e., nursing homes) implementing the Green House Model. Thematic content analysis surfaced several key tensions at the intra-personal, inter-personal, and organizational levels. Most salient were staff mental models within the intra-personal level. Staff conveyed a lack of clarity on how to realize resident choice when faced with varying tensions, especially the competing goal of resident medical and safety needs. Staff-employed resolutions to resident choice-related tensions also emerged (e.g., preventive practices, staff reinforcement, and staff deliberation). This study offers specific and concrete insights on how resident choice in daily life, and thus resident quality of life, can be advanced.

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