Nursing-sensitive quality indicators for quality improvement in Norwegian nursing homes - a modified Delphi study - Nasjonalt senter for aldring og helse

BMC Health Services Research, 2023

Nursing-sensitive quality indicators for quality improvement in Norwegian nursing homes – a modified Delphi study

Background: Use of nursing-sensitive quality indicators (QIs) is one way to monitor the quality of care in nursing homes (NHs). The aim of this study was to develop a consensus list of nursing-sensitive QIs for Norwegian NHs.

Methods: A narrative literature review followed by a non-in-person, two-round, six-step modified Delphi survey was conducted. A five-member project group was established to draw up a list of nursing-sensitive QIs from a preliminary list of 24 QIs selected from Minimum Data Set (2.0) (MDS) and the international Resident Assessment Instrument for Long-Term Care Facilities (interRAI LTCF). We included scientific experts (researchers), clinical experts (healthcare professionals in NHs), and experts of experience (next-of-kin of NH residents). The experts rated nursing-sensitive QIs in two rounds on a seven-point Likert scale. Consensus was based on median value and level of dispersion. Analyses were conducted for four groups: 1) all experts, 2) scientific experts, 3) clinical experts, and 4) experts of experience.

Results: The project group drew up a list of 20 nursing-sensitive QIs. Nineteen QIs were selected from MDS/interRAI LTCF and one (‘systematic medication review’) from the Norwegian quality assessment system IPLOS (‘Statistics linked to individual needs of care’). In the first and second Delphi round, 44 experts (13 researchers, 17 healthcare professionals, 14 next-of-kin) and 28 experts (8 researchers, 10 healthcare professionals, 10 next-of-kin) participated, respectively. The final consensus list consisted of 16 nursing-sensitive QIs, which were ranked in this order by the ‘all expert group’: 1) systematic medication review, 2) pressure ulcers, 3) behavioral symptoms, 4) pain, 5) dehydration, 6) oral/dental health problems, 7) urinary tract infection, 8) fecal impaction, 9) depression, 10) use of aids that inhibit freedom of movement, 11) participation in activities of interest, 12) participation in social activities, 13) decline in activities of daily living, 14) weight loss, 15) falls, and 16) hearing loss without the use of hearing aids.

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary experts were able to reach consensus on 16 nursing-sensitive QIs. The results from this study can be used to implement QIs in Norwegian NHs, which can improve the quality of care.


Kjerstin Tevik, Anne-Sofie Helvik, Geir-Tore Stensvik, Marion S Nordberg, Sigrid Nakrem

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