Association of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) with changes in function, cognition, and psychosocial status.

TitleAssociation of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) with changes in function, cognition, and psychosocial status.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsPhillips CD, Morris JN, Hawes C, Fries BE, Mor V, Nennstiel M, Iannacchione V
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number0002-8614
Accession NumberPMID:9256853
Keywords*Activities of Daily Living, *Cognition, *Geriatric Assessment, *Mental Health, *Nursing Homes, Affect, Aged, Cohort Studies, Communication, Fecal Incontinence/th [Therapy], Health Services Needs and Demand, Human, Interpersonal Relations, Longitudinal Studies, Mental Disorders/th [Therapy], Nursing Assessment, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Patient Care Planning, Quality of Health Care, Social Behavior, Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., United States, Urinary Incontinence/th [Therapy]

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) on changes in nursing home residents' functional status, cognitive status, and psychosocial well-being. DESIGN: A quasi-experiment involving the collection of longitudinal data on two cohorts of nursing home residents. One cohort was assessed before the implementation of the RAI, and the other was assessed after the implementation of the new assessment process. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Over 2000 nursing home residents in 267 nursing homes located in 10 geographic areas were assessed during the pre-RAI period. In the post-RAI period, 2000 new residents in 254 of the same facilities were assessed. INTERVENTION: RAI implementation began in October 1990 and continued until October 1991. The RAI includes a structured, multidimensional resident assessment and problem identification system designed to form the basis for residents' care plans. MEASUREMENTS: All residents were assessed at baseline and at 6 months using the Minimum Data Set for Nursing Home Resident Assessment and Care Screening (MDS) and its protocols. All data were collected by research nurses employed and trained by the research team. RESULTS: Implementation of the RAI significantly reduced the rate of decline in seven of the nine outcomes under consideration. Reductions in improvement were also observed in all outcomes. In activities of daily living, social engagement, and cognitive function, the reduced decline far outweighed any reductions in improvement. In mood problems, problem behaviors, and understanding others, however, reductions in improvement were greater than any reductions in decline. Changes in the rates of decline and improvement were not uniform across all residents. CONCLUSION: The RAI may have improved the quality of care of nursing home residents by reducing overall rates of decline in important areas of resident function. However, this innovation may have generated trade-offs in that it may have reduced improvement rates in some areas of function. The system's implementation also seems to have focused staff's attention on the needs and strengths of specific subpopulations of residents. Revisions of the RAI must assist staff in generalizing their efforts to all residents and to increasing improvement rates, especially in areas related to mood and behavior.


Short TitleJournal of the American Geriatrics SocietyJ Am Geriatr Soc
Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc