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Gerontologist. 2014 Feb;54 Suppl 1:S1-5. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt161.

Transforming nursing home culture: evidence for practice and policy.

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*Address correspondence to Sheryl Zimmerman, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 725 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Campus Box 7590, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590. E-mail:


The nursing home culture change movement aims to improve resident quality of life and quality of care by emphasizing the deinstitutionalization of nursing home culture and focusing on person-centered care. This article briefly reviews the history of culture change, discusses some of the challenges related to culture change in nursing homes, and overviews the conceptualization and select models of culture change. Building from this background, it critiques current understanding, identifies critical research questions, and notes key issues arising during a workshop that addressed existing and emerging evidence in the field. This review and analysis provide a context for how 9 accompanying papers in this supplemental issue of The Gerontologist fill identified evidence gaps and provide evidence for future practice and policies that aim to transform nursing home culture.


Culture change; Long-term care; Person-centered care

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