Five-Star Ratings do not predict quality of life for residents without dementia, survey finds

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The government's Five-Star system for rating nursing homes does not reflect the quality of life experienced by residents with preserved cognition, according to newly published research.

Investigators from a variety of institutions, funded in part by the American Geriatrics Society, interviewed about 300 long-stay nursing home residents with preserved cognitive functioning. The researchers used a 10-part survey to assess quality of life.

The survey scores did not correspond with the number of stars earned by the residents' nursing homes through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' quality rating system, the team found.

Physical impairment and depression both were found to diminish quality of life. Pain was not associated with quality of life — a finding the researchers said was “notable.”

The results were published Thursday in the online edition of JAMDA.

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