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Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2019 May 10;5:2333721419844344. doi: 10.1177/2333721419844344. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

Recommended Common Data Elements for International Research in Long-Term Care Homes: Exploring the Workforce and Staffing Concepts of Staff Retention and Turnover.

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University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Conestoga College, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Ontario, Canada.
Centre for Care Research west, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway.
IRBLleida, Spain.
University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.
City, University of London, London, UK.
University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


The aim of this review is to develop a common data element for the concept of staff retention and turnover within the domain of workforce and staffing. This domain is one of four core domains identified by the WE-THRIVE (Worldwide Elements to Harmonize Research in Long-Term Care Living Environments) group in an effort to establish an international, person-centered long-term care research infrastructure. A rapid review identified different measurement methods to assess either turnover or retention at facility level or intention to leave or stay at the individual staff level. The selection of a recommended measurement was guided by the WE-THRIVE group's focus on capacity rather than deficits, the expected availability of internationally comparable data, and the goal to provide a short, ecologically viable measurement. We therefore recommend to measure staff's intention to stay with a single item, at the individual staff level. This element, we argue, is an indicator of staff stability, which is important for reduced organizational cost and improved productivity, positive work environment, and better resident-staff relationships and quality of care.


common data elements; intention to leave; intention to stay; long-term care; nursing home; retention; staffing; turnover

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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