Journal Article

What Consumers Say About Nursing Homes in Online Reviews

Caitlyn Kellogg, Yujun Zhu, Valeria Cardenas, Katalina Vazquez, Kayla Johari, Anna Rahman and Susan Enguidanos

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 58, issue 4, pages e273-e280
Published in print July 2018 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny025
What Consumers Say About Nursing Homes in Online Reviews

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  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Gerontology and Ageing

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Abstract

Background

Although patient-centered care is an expressed value of our healthcare system, no studies have examined what consumers say in online reviews about nursing homes (NHs). Insight into themes addressed in these reviews could inform improvement efforts that promote patient-centered NH care.

Research Design and Methods

We analyzed nursing home (NH) Yelp reviews. From a list of all NHs in California, we drew a purposeful sample of 51 NHs, selecting facilities representing a range of geographical areas and occupancy rates. Two research teams analyzed the reviews using grounded theory to identify codes and tracked how frequently each code was mentioned.

Results

We evaluated 264 reviews, identifying 24 codes, grouped under five categories: quality of staff care and staffing; physical facility and setting; resident safety and security; clinical care quality; and financial issues. More than half (53.41%) of Yelp reviewers posted comments related to staff attitude and caring and nearly a third (29.2%) posted comments related to staff responsiveness. Yelp reviewers also often posted about NHs’ physical environment. Infrequently mentioned were the quality of health care provided and concerns about resident safety and security.

Discussion and Implications

Our results are consistent with those from related studies. Yelp reviewers focus on NH aspects that are not evaluated in most other NH rating systems. The federal Nursing Home Compare website, for instance, does not report measures of staff attitudes or the NH’s physical setting. Rather, it reports measures of staffing levels and clinical processes and outcomes. We recommend that NH consumers consult both types of rating systems because they provide complementary information.

Keywords: Assessment of condition; Quality of care; Quality of life; Qualitative analysis; Satisfaction

Journal Article.  5414 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Care of the Elderly ; Gerontology and Ageing

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