Person-Centered Care Increases Satisfaction Among Nursing Home Residents

CFAR | August 22, 2017 | by Geralyn Magan

Findings from a recent study by the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston (formerly the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research) were published this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA).

Older adults express higher levels of satisfaction with quality of care and quality of life when their nursing homes fully implement person-centered care, according to a new study conducted by the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston (formerly the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research).

The study’s findings were published this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA). Among the article’s co-authors were Linda Hermer, managing director of research and senior research scientist at the LTSS Center, and Robyn Stone, LTSS Center co-director and senior vice president of research at LeadingAge.

Person-centered care aims to transform the regimented, institutional nursing home environment by infusing it with principles and practices that encourage resident direction of care and activities, staff empowerment, collaborative decision making, and a homelike living environment.


The JAMDA article is based on LeadingAge’s evaluation of a pay-for-performance program in Kansas that uses Medicaid funds to provide financial incentives to nursing homes that adopt person-centered care.

Nursing homes participating in the Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas Nursing Homes (PEAK 2.0) program receive extensive training and education about person-centered care, and take part in a structured, external evaluation process to help gauge their success in implementing this care model. An escalating financial incentive encourages participating nursing homes to adopt person-centered care comprehensively.

PEAK 2.0 nursing homes make their way through 6 levels of person-centered care implementation within 4 domains, including:

  • Offering residents choice in such areas as dining, sleeping, bathing, and daily routines.
  • Empowering staff to build relationships with residents, make care decisions, participate in staff-led work teams, and develop their careers.
  • Creating a home-like environment both in resident rooms and in the neighborhoods or households in which those rooms are located.
  • Facilitating a meaningful life for residents by supporting the human spirit and enabling community involvement among residents.

“The PEAK program is a well-structured, systematic method for implementing person-centered care in nursing homes,” write the authors. “This model, or elements of the program, could be implemented by individual homes. States could also adopt the program and provide financial incentives that have proven effective in attracting homes not normally adopting person-centered care practices.”


Researchers analyzed the findings from in-person satisfaction surveys conducted in Kansas nursing homes in 2014 and 2015 with over 6,000 residents. Specifically, researchers studied the association between the level of person-centered care implementation in the nursing homes and resident-reported satisfaction.

The analysis revealed that residents in nursing homes that had fully implemented person-centered care were more likely to give high ratings to their overall satisfaction, and to their quality of life and quality of care.

Residents in homes that had fully implemented person-centered care were also more likely to report being satisfied with many aspects of nursing home life and care, including:

  • The choices available to them.
  • The respect shown to them.
  • Their privacy needs being met.
  • Staff knowing their preferences.


The authors suggest that their study provides strong evidence for the important role that person-centered care can play in heightening residents’ satisfaction with their nursing homes. Researchers also point out that person-centered care has the potential to offer benefits both to nursing home residents and nursing home operators.

“Consumers make choices based on their preferences and if they are not satisfied with the services, they may elect to go elsewhere,” write the authors. “This could have financial implications for homes. Thus, the (PEAK 2.0) program has benefits not only to residents but also to an organization’s bottom line and reputation.”