Quality of care in Norwegian nursing homes – deficiencies and their correlates

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Quality of care (QoC) in nursing homes has many aspects and various proxies have been used to evaluate it. In only a few studies several proxies for quality have been combined into a common variable.


To explore which variables are associated with low QoC in few and several areas respectively.


A structured interview of the patients' primary carer of 1926 patients in 251 wards was carried out. Questions about different kinds of quality deficiencies during the last 7 days were recorded. Eight main types of quality deficiencies were used to construct a linear outcome variable called number of quality deficiencies (NQD) with values from zero to eight. Patient characteristics such as sex, age, function in activities of daily living (ADL), behaviour and mental capacity were recorded. Type of ward, staffing, size of ward, type of institution and formal education of the staff, were also recorded.


More than half of the patients in Norwegian nursing homes experienced two or more quality deficiencies in the care during 1 week. The variables that were strongest associated with NQD, were present of aggressive behaviour, low level of functioning in ADL and moderate-to-severe dementia. Staffing level and type of ward had also a significant influence on the model.

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