Resident-Directed Long-Term Care: Staff Provision of Choice During Morning Care

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Purpose: To develop an observational protocol to assess the quality of staff–resident communication relevant to choice and describe staff–resident interactions as preliminary evidence of the usefulness of the tool to assess current nursing home practices related to offering choice during morning care provision. Design and Methods: This study included 73 long-stay residents in 2 facilities. Research staff conducted observations for 4 consecutive morning hours during targeted care activities (transfer out of bed, incontinence, dressing, and dining location). Observations were conducted weekly for 12 consecutive weeks. Staff–resident interactions were measured related to staff offers of choice and residents’ responses. Results: Interrater agreement was achieved for measures of staff offers of choice (kappa = .83, p < .001), type of choice provided (kappa = .75, p < .001), and resident requests related to choice (kappa = .72, p < .001). Observations over 2,766 care episodes during 4 aspects of morning care showed that staff offered residents choice during 18% of the episodes. Most observations (70%) were coded as staff offering “no choice.” Implications: Nursing home staff can use a simplified version of this standardized observational tool to reliably measure staff–resident interactions related to choice during morning care provision as a first step toward improving resident-directed care practice.

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