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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 892679, 8 pages
Research Article

Improving Quality of Life in Nursing Homes: The Structured Resident Interview Approach

University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA

Received 5 June 2014; Revised 16 September 2014; Accepted 17 September 2014; Published 9 October 2014

Academic Editor: Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

Copyright © 2014 Howard B. Degenholtz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The quality of life (QOL) of the approximately 1.5 million nursing facility (NF) residents in the US is undoubtedly lower than desired by residents, families, providers, and policy makers. Although there have been important advances in defining and measuring QOL for this population, there is a need for interventions that are tied to standardized measurement and quality improvement programs. This paper describes the development and testing of a structured, tailored assessment and care planning process for improving the QOL of nursing home residents. The Quality of Life Structured Resident Interview and Care Plan (QOL.SRI/CP) builds on a decade of research on measuring QOL and is designed to be easily implemented in any US nursing home. The approach was developed through extensive and iterative pilot testing and then tested in a randomized controlled trial in three nursing homes. Residents were randomly assigned to receive the assessment alone or both the assessment and an individualized QOL care plan task. The results show that residents assigned to the intervention group experienced improved QOL at 90- and 180-day follow-up, while QOL of residents in the control group was unchanged.