Whom do veteran nursing home residents prefer to talk to about satisfaction with care?: implications for nursing staff.


The purpose of this study was to determine whom residents in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes prefer to talk to about their quality of care. A total of 127 participants in three VA facilities completed a structured, in-person interview. Nearly half (47.6%) reported that they prefer talking with facility staff about their quality of care, with the most preferred staff being licensed nurses and physicians. However, 26% reported being hesitant to express complaints for fear of reprisal. Participants also reported being least comfortable talking to direct care staff (nurse aides) if they saw another resident being mistreated. These findings suggest that licensed nurses and primary care professionals, both of whom are in frequent contact with residents, should routinely ask residents questions about their quality of care so that nursing home residents have ample opportunity to express concerns. Finally, asking satisfaction questions routinely may also enable facilities to address problems as they occur.