A smaller sized facility and no chain ownership were among the factors correlated to whether relatives were happy about their loved one’s stay, a University of Minnesota study finds.

High numbers of nurses and activity staffers also boosted family satisfaction. Many of those align with the same factors that keep residents satisfied, noted Tetyana Shippee, Ph.D., an associate professor of health policy and management with the university and lead author of the study.

“The findings show that facility-level factors associated with higher family satisfaction are rather similar to the ones we already know predict resident satisfaction,” she said in an announcement Thursday. “This report reinforces that the role of family members is so important as residents often can’t advocate for themselves.”

Shippee and colleagues reached their conclusions by analyzing nursing home family satisfaction surveys from both Ohio and Minnesota, and linking those findings with federal data on facility characteristics. They noted the two states are among a select few that validate measures of family satisfaction.

While the results were published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, the university promoted the findings Thursday in a research brief.