Prioritizing culture change in nursing homes: perspectives of residents, staff, and family members

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Mar;60(3):525-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03840.x. Epub 2012 Feb 8.


Objectives: To explore the perspectives and priorities of nursing home residents, family members, and frontline nursing staff concerning a broad range of items representing common targets of culture change initiatives.

Design: Qualitative study.

Setting: A Veterans Affairs Community Living Center and two community nursing homes in North Carolina.

Participants: Residents (n = 21), family members (n = 21), and direct-care nursing staff (n = 21) were recruited, with equal numbers in each group from each site.

Measurements: Participants rated the importance of 62 items from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Artifacts of Culture Change instrument. Participants sorted cards reflecting each culture change artifact in two phases, identifying and ranking those of more and less importance to them to derive one distribution of preferences for each respondent. Q-sort analysis identified groups of respondents who prioritized similar items; qualitative analysis sought themes or explanations for the responses.

Results: Wide variation in respondent preferences was observed. Some respondents viewed several items that others valued highly as unimportant or undesirable. Some items were not high priorities for any respondents. Four groups of respondents with similar preferences were identified: practical and independence-focused respondents, who prioritized ease of use of the physical environment; staff-focused respondents, who prioritized nursing staff retention and development; consistency and choice-focused respondents, who prioritized stable nurse staff-resident relationships and resident choice; and activity and community-focused respondents, who prioritized community gathering spaces and activities.

Conclusion: Resident, family, and staff priorities for culture change vary, and diverse priorities of stakeholders should be considered to inform culture change efforts on a local and national level.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cultural Evolution*
  • Female
  • Health Priorities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Qualitative Research
  • Residence Characteristics
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology