Nursing home residents´ADL status, institution-dwelling and association with outdoor activity: a cross sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSandvoll, A. M., Grov, E. K., & Simonsen, M. (2020). Nursing home residents’ ADL status, institution-dwelling and association with outdoor activity: A cross-sectional study. PeerJ, 8. 10.7717/peerj.10202
Introduction The Norwegian regulations for nursing homes consider access to meaningful activities to be an indicator for the quality of nursing homes. Activities of daily living (ADL) provide important basic self-care skills for nursing home residents. Due to the physical changes caused by ageing and comorbidities, nursing home residents may experience functional decline over time, which may affect their ability to perform meaningful ADL, such as outdoor activity, which is considered a valuable and meaningful activity in Norwegian culture. This study aimed to investigate the association between ADL status, institution-dwelling and outdoor activity among nursing home residents. Methods This cross-sectional study included 784 residents aged >67 years living in 21 nursing homes in 15 Norwegian municipalities between November 2016 and May 2018. The Barthel Index was used to assess the nursing home residents’ ADL status. Other variables collected were age, gender, body weight and height, visits per month, institution, ward, and participation in weekly outdoor activities. Descriptive statistics were used to provide an overview of the residents’ characteristics. A Poisson regression model was used to test the association between the outdoor activity level as the dependent variable and ADL score, institution, and other control variables as independent variables. Results More than half (57%) of the nursing home residents in this sample did not go outdoors. More than 50% of the residents had an ADL score <10, which indicates low performance status. Further, we found that residents’ ADL status, institution, ward, and number of visits had an impact on how often the residents went outdoors. Discussion The nursing home residents in this study rarely went outdoors, which is interesting because Norwegians appreciate this activity. Differences in the number of visits might explain why some residents went outdoors more often than other residents did. Our findings also highlight that the institutions impact the outdoor activity. How the institutions are organized and how important this activity is considered to be in the institutions determine how often the activity is performed. Conclusion The low frequency of the outdoor activities might be explained by a low ADL score. More than 50% of the residents had an ADL score <10, which indicates low performance status. Despite regulations for nursing home quality in Norway, this result suggests that organizational differences matter, which is an important implication for further research, health policy and practice.