Progress in assessing the quality of Australian nursing home care

V. Braithwaite, J. Braithwaite, D. Gibson, T. Makkai

Research output: Contribution to journalShort Survey/Scientific Reportpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper critically examines the clarity, practicality, desirability and validity of the 31 outcome standards that the Commonwealth Government introduced to assess quality of care in Australian nursing homes. Key features of the Australian system in an international context are its focus on outcomes, the limited number of standards used, and the comparatively subjective nature of some standards. Directors of nursing from 410 nursing homes in the Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide metropolitan areas were interviewed as part of the Nursing Home Regulation in Action Project. The overwhelming majority reported the standards as clear and desirable. In the minority of cases where problems were raised, practicability was the basis for concern. A factor analysis of the ratings given by standards monitoring teams to these 410 homes failed to demonstrate redundancy across standards or grouping of standards by objectives. Nevertheless, the standards were sufficiently highly interrelated to justify summing to produce an overall compliance score. This study shows that the 31 standards hold up well under scrutiny, both from the perspectives of key actors in the monitoring process, and from a psychometric point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


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