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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 6143645, 16 pages
Review Article

The Factors Influencing the Sense of Home in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review from the Perspective of Residents

1Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Allied Health Professions, Dominee Theodor Fliednerstraat 2, 5631 BN Eindhoven, Netherlands
2Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Fontys EGT-Centre for Health Care and Technology, Dominee Theodor Fliednerstraat 2, 5631 BN Eindhoven, Netherlands
3Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Fontys School of People and Health Studies, Dominee Theodor Fliednerstraat 2, 5631 BN Eindhoven, Netherlands
4CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Department of Health Services Research, Maastricht University, Duboisdomein 30, 6229 GT Maastricht, Netherlands
5EGM Architecten, Wilgenbos 20, 3311 JX Dordrecht, Netherlands
6Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, North Haven Campus, Office MNH 470P, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518-1908, USA

Received 30 January 2016; Accepted 12 April 2016

Academic Editor: F. R. Ferraro

Copyright © 2016 M. D. Rijnaard 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.


Purpose. To provide an overview of factors influencing the sense of home of older adults residing in the nursing home. Methods. A systematic review was conducted. Inclusion criteria were (1) original and peer-reviewed research, (2) qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research, (3) research about nursing home residents (or similar type of housing), and (4) research on the sense of home, meaning of home, at-homeness, or homelikeness. Results. Seventeen mainly qualitative articles were included. The sense of home of nursing home residents is influenced by 15 factors, divided into three themes: (1) psychological factors (sense of acknowledgement, preservation of one’s habits and values, autonomy and control, and coping); (2) social factors (interaction and relationship with staff, residents, family and friends, and pets) and activities; and (3) the built environment (private space and (quasi-)public space, personal belongings, technology, look and feel, and the outdoors and location). Conclusions. The sense of home is influenced by numerous factors related to the psychology of the residents and the social and built environmental contexts. Further research is needed to determine if and how the identified factors are interrelated, if perspectives of various stakeholders involved differ, and how the factors can be improved in practice.