Functional disability at nursing home admission: a comparison of urban and rural admission cohorts

J Rural Health. 2001 Summer;17(3):229-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2001.tb00960.x.


This study's objective was to examine the relationships between rural residence and availability of nursing home and home health care to functional disability at the time of nursing home admission. Secondary data were obtained from the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 2.0 for Nebraska for 3,443 rural and 1,296 urban older people admitted to nursing facilities. Data from the MDS were merged with county-level data on home health agencies and nursing homes in Nebraska. The relationship of rurality of nursing home residents' prior residence and availability of nursing home and home health care to functional status at admission, controlling for demographic and health characteristics of older people, was estimated using multiple linear regression with robust variance estimates. After taking account of demographic and health status characteristics, rural residence and availability of home health and nursing home care had nonsignificant effects on functional status at admission. The findings indicate that functional disability at admission is associated with specific diseases and medical conditions, cognitive status, gender, living arrangements and marital arrangements. Rural older people are not at higher risk of admission at lower levels of functional disability compared to their urban counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Home Care Services / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Nebraska
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nursing Homes / supply & distribution
  • Patient Admission*
  • Rural Population / classification
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / classification
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*