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The Gerontologist 44:770-778 (2004)
© 2004 The Gerontological Society of America

Identifying Changeable Barriers to Family Involvement in the Nursing Home for Cognitively Impaired Residents

Cynthia Lindman Port, PhD1,

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Cynthia Lindman Port, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 660 West Redwood Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. E-mail: cport{at}

Purpose: Barriers to family involvement in the nursing home with the potential for change through intervention are examined, including transportation, caregiver health, relationships with staff, and resident characteristics. Design and Methods: Data were collected for 93 family caregiver–resident pairs by means of telephone interviews and chart review. Regression modeling was used to identify relationships between involvement (caregiver visit frequency) and the changeable barriers after the known variables of distance, kinship, payment source, length of stay, and cognitive function were taken into account. Results: Lower visit frequency was found for caregivers reporting problems with transportation, poor relationships with staff, and a smaller network of supportive family and friends. Higher caregiver anxiety was related to higher visit frequency. Implications: Several barriers to family involvement are shown to be as or more influential than ones identified in previous research, thus providing empirical support for interventions currently used as well as suggesting new areas for intervention.

Key Words: Nursing home residents • Cognitive impairment • Family involvement

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Copyright © 2004 by The Gerontological Society of America.