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Who Visits Relatives in Nursing Homes? Predictors of at Least Weekly Visiting.

Weimer DL, Saliba D, Ladd H, Mukamel DB. Who Visits Relatives in Nursing Homes? Predictors of at Least Weekly Visiting. Journal of The American Medical Directors Association. 2021 Oct 9.

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OBJECTIVES: Within the context of a single study, assess the relative importance of the 6 factors identified in a 2019 systematic review as associated with the likelihood that family members will visit nursing home residents. DESIGN: Retrospective statistical analysis of an existing survey data set. SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS: A national survey conducted with 4350 relatives of long-term nursing home residents. METHODS: Probit models of the probability of visiting a family member at least once weekly, stratified by age of the visitor, were estimated. To account for possible endogeneity of respondent involvement in the choice of nursing home and visit rate, visit rates were estimated using 2-stage residual inclusion in which the first stage explained involvement in nursing home choice. RESULTS: Involvement in nursing home choice has a substantively and statistically significant positive effect on visit probability for all age groups of respondents. Travel time has a substantively and statistically significant negative association on visit probability for all age groups. Younger women are more likely to visit than younger men. For all but the oldest respondents, higher income and full-time employment contribute to involvement in nursing home choice as does being Black or Hispanic. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: As in previous research, travel time is an important determinant of visit rates. The strong association of involvement in nursing home choice with visit probability suggests a strong psychological motivation for visiting. To improve visiting, future research should focus on better understanding of the psychological factors that are associated with it and rely on better data and improved statistical methods. Our findings also suggest that nursing home administrators should consider adopting initiatives to facilitate and empower family members' involvement in nursing home choice, which in turn may lead to increased visitations.

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