Are patients with serious mental illness more likely to be admitted to nursing homes with more deficiencies in care?

Yue Li, Xueya Cai, Peter Cram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Patients diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) who qualify for nursing home placement tend to require high levels of both psychiatric and nursing care. However, it is unknown whether they are equally likely to be admitted to nursing homes with adequate quality of care compared with other patients. Methods: We analyzed a national cohort of more than 1.3 million new nursing home admissions in 2007 using the minimum data set. The total and healthcare-related deficiency citations for each facility were obtained from the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting file. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses determined the association of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with admissions to facilities with higher deficiencies. Results: Compared with other patients, patients with schizophrenia (n = 23,767) tended to enter nursing homes with more total (13.3 vs. 11.2, P<0.001) and healthcare-related deficiencies (8.6 vs. 7.2, P<0.001); and patients with bipolar disorder (n = 19,741) were more likely to enter facilities with more problematic care too (12.5 vs. 11.2, P<0.001 for total deficiencies; and 8.2 vs. 7.2, P<0.001 for healthcare-related deficiencies). After sequentially controlling for the within-county choice of facilities, patient characteristics, and facility covariates, the association of SMI with admitting to higherdeficiency nursing homes persisted. Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (ie, SMI) were more likely than other patients to be admitted to nursing homes with higher deficiency citations for both overall quality and clinical care quality. Further research is necessary to understand the reasons behind the disparity in quality of nursing home care associated with SMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalMedical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Deficiency citations
  • Nursing home quality
  • Schizophrenia
  • Serious mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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