Use of restraints decreases from 1999 to 2006 in nursing homes, report finds

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The percentage of long-stay nursing home residents with restraints fell from 10.7% 1999 to 6% in 2006. That is from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2008 National Healthcare Quality Report.

The report, which was released last Friday, provides both a state-by-state and nationwide analysis of quality-of-care performance in nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare settings. It tracks 14 different measures of nursing home care, including short-stay/long-stay differences, use of restraints and pressure ulcer rates among others.

More than 3.1 million residents were admitted to nursing homes during 2006. Also, total nursing home care costs that year topped $124.9 billion, the report said. Meanwhile, while the use of restraints dropped from 1999 to 2006, there were only minor improvements in pressure ulcer prevention during that time, according to the report.

State snapshots are available on the AHRQ website, along with full copies of the 2008 report. For more information, visit