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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2000 Sep;55(5):S278-87.

Nursing home staffing and its relationship to deficiencies.

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  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco 94118, USA.



The authors examined the relationships between different types of nursing home staffing and nursing home deficiencies to test the hypothesis that fewer staff hours would be associated with higher numbers of deficiencies.


Data were from the On-Line Survey, Certification, and Reporting System for all certified nursing homes in the United States. Regression models examined total deficiencies, quality of care, quality of life, and other deficiencies.


Fewer registered nurse hours and nursing assistant hours were associated with total deficiencies and quality of care deficiencies, when other variables were controlled. Fewer nursing assistant staff and other care staff hours were associated with quality of life deficiencies. Fewer administrative staff hours were associated with other deficiencies. Facilities that had more depressed and demented residents, that were smaller, and that were nonprofit or government-owned had fewer deficiencies. Facilities with more residents with urinary incontinence and pressure sores and with higher percentages of Medicaid residents had more deficiencies, when staffing and resident characteristics were controlled.


Facility characteristics and states were stronger predictors of deficiencies than were staffing hours and resident characteristics. Because only a small portion of the total variance in deficiencies could be explained, much work remains to explore factors that influence deficiencies.

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