What do nursing home residents with mental-physical multimorbidity need and who actually knows this? A cross-sectional cohort study

Anne M A van den Brink, Debby L Gerritsen, Miranda M H de Valk, Astrid T Mulder, Richard C Oude Voshaar, Raymond T C M Koopmans
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2018, 81: 89-97

OBJECTIVE: Aging societies will bring an increase in the number of long-term care residents with mental-physical multimorbidity. To optimize care for these residents, it is important to study their care needs, since unmet needs lower quality of life. To date, knowledge about care needs of residents with mental-physical multimorbidity is limited. The aim of this study was to explore (un)met care needs of residents with mental-physical multimorbidity and determinants of unmet needs.

METHODS: Cross-sectional cohort study among 141 residents with mental-physical multimorbidity without dementia living in 17 geronto-psychiatric nursing home units across the Netherlands. Data collection consisted of chart review, semi-structured interviews, (brief) neuropsychological testing, and self-report questionnaires. The Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly (CANE) was used to rate (un)met care needs from residents' and nursing staff's perceptions. Descriptive and multivariate regression analyses were conducted.

RESULTS: Residents reported a mean number of 11.89 needs (SD 2.88) of which 24.2% (n = 2.88, SD 2.48) were unmet. Nursing staff indicated a mean number of 14.73 needs (SD 2.32) of which 10.8% (n = 1.59, SD 1.61) were unmet. According to the residents, most unmet needs were found in the social domain as opposed to the psychological domain as reported by the nursing staff. Different opinions between resident and nursing staff about unmet needs was most common in the areas accommodation, company, and daytime activities. Further, nearly half of the residents indicated 'no need' regarding behavior while the nursing staff supposed that the resident did require some kind of support. Depression, anxiety and less care dependency were the most important determinants of unmet needs.

CONCLUSIONS: Systematic assessment of care needs showed differences between the perspectives of resident and nursing staff. These should be the starting point of a dialogue between them about needs, wishes and expectations regarding care. This dialogue can subsequently lead to the most optimal individually tailored care plan. To achieve this, nurses with effective communication and negotiation skills, are indispensable.


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