An exploration of complaints forwarded to the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: What are the correlates of nursing home complaints reported?

Priscilla Dawn Allen, Fordham University

Abstract

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is charged to respond to complaints made by or on behalf of nursing home residents throughout the nation. Using existing records over a two-year period from all of Connecticut's 261 nursing facilities, research was conducted to determine whether there were correlates of complaints reported to the Connecticut LTCOP. A rate of complaints was used as the dependent variable for total and five categories of complaints, as established by the Administration on Aging (i.e., Care, Resident Rights, Administration, Quality of Life, and Not Against Facility). Specific areas of interest were characteristics of the nursing home, including for-profit and nonprofit sponsorship, size, location, nurse-staffing ratios, unionization, Medicaid occupancy, health department citations, level of care, as well as the presence of a Volunteer Resident Advocate (VRA). VRAs provide regular visits to an assigned nursing home and a have a primary responsibility to uphold the residents' rights. ^ The study found that facilities with and without Volunteer Resident Advocates behave differently as measured by the reporting of complaints. Facilities with a formally placed VRA yielded significantly higher total rates of complaints and complaints in the categories of Care, Rights, and Quality of Life. With respect to the characteristics of nursing homes, for-profits facilities produced significantly more total complaints than nonprofit facilities and complaints in the areas of Care, Administration and Quality of Life complaints. Further findings include unionized and non-rural facilities produced higher rates of Care complaints, as did facilities with citations from the Department of Public Health. ^ The study was the first to explore if environmental factors influence complaint reporting. The nine chosen predictors explained only 12% of the variance in the strongest model, possibly suggesting the idiosyncratic nature of complaint reporting, and the need for further research to understand whether other factors, such as personal features of the residents and of those who complain on their behalf, influence the reporting of complaints to a formal agency. ^

Subject Area

Social Work|Health Sciences, Health Care Management

Recommended Citation

Priscilla Dawn Allen, "An exploration of complaints forwarded to the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: What are the correlates of nursing home complaints reported?" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3006409.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3006409

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