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BMC Health Services Research

, 10:166

First Online: 16 June 2010Received: 28 October 2009Accepted: 16 June 2010DOI: 10.1186-1472-6963-10-166

Cite this article as: Hutchinson, A.M., Milke, D.L., Maisey, S. et al. BMC Health Serv Res 2010 10: 166. doi:10.1186-1472-6963-10-166


BackgroundThe Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimum Data Set RAI-MDS 2.0 is designed to collect the minimum amount of data to guide care planning and monitoring for residents in long-term care settings. These data have been used to compute indicators of care quality. Use of the quality indicators to inform quality improvement initiatives is contingent upon the validity and reliability of the indicators. The purpose of this review was to systematically examine published and grey research reports in order to assess the state of the science regarding the validity and reliability of the RAI-MDS 2.0 Quality Indicators QIs.

MethodsWe systematically reviewed the evidence for the validity and reliability of the RAI-MDS 2.0 QIs. A comprehensive literature search identified relevant original research published, in English, prior to December 2008. Fourteen articles and one report examining the validity and-or reliability of the RAI-MDS 2.0 QIs were included.

ResultsThe studies fell into two broad categories, those that examined individual quality indicators and those that examined multiple indicators. All studies were conducted in the United States and included from one to a total of 209 facilities. The number of residents included in the studies ranged from 109 to 5758. One study conducted under research conditions examined 38 chronic care QIs, of which strong evidence for the validity of 12 of the QIs was found. In response to these findings, the 12 QIs were recommended for public reporting purposes. However, a number of observational studies n = 13, conducted in -real world- conditions, have tested the validity and-or reliability of individual QIs, with mixed results. Ten QIs have been studied in this manner, including falls, depression, depression without treatment, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, weight loss, bedfast, restraint, pressure ulcer, and pain. These studies have revealed the potential for systematic bias in reporting, with under-reporting of some indicators and over-reporting of others.

ConclusionEvidence for the reliability and validity of the RAI-MDS QIs remains inconclusive. The QIs provide a useful tool for quality monitoring and to inform quality improvement programs and initiatives. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting the QI results and other sources of evidence of the quality of care processes should be considered in conjunction with QI results.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-10-166 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Alison M Hutchinson - Doris L Milke - Suzanne Maisey - Cynthia Johnson - Janet E Squires - Gary Teare - Carole A Estabr


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