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A comparison of cognitive functioning in long-term care and short-stay nursing home residents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2015

Mansbach Health Tools, Simpsonville, Maryland, USA.
Mansbach Health Tools, Simpsonville, Maryland, USA.
Mansbach Health Tools, Simpsonville, Maryland, USA.
The Beacon Institute, Columbia, Maryland, USA.
Address for correspondence: William E. Mansbach, Mansbach Health Tools, LLC, P.O. Box 307, Simpsonville, MD 21150, USA E-mail:


It can be challenging to provide person-centred care for individuals with cognitive impairment if they are unable to communicate their needs to facility providers clearly. The high base rates of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in US nursing homes is well documented; however, our understanding of the unique prevalence of cognitive levels in long-term care and short-stay residents is limited. Our aim is to determine whether there are significant differences in specific cognitive levels between these two groups. Long-term care and short-stay residents (N = 579) were randomly selected from 18 Maryland, US skilled nursing facilities; 345 met inclusion criteria for participation (mean age 79.41) and completed a cognitive test (Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool (BCAT)). Based on BCAT scores, 78.9 per cent of the long-term care residents had dementia compared to 61.4 per cent for short-stay residents. The proportions of MCI, mild, and moderate to severe dementia were significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.00). The odds of residents having moderate to severe dementia were 2.76 times greater for long-term care compared to short-stay residents. BCAT total and factor scores were significantly different between long-term care and short-stay nursing home residents (p < 0.001). We discuss the implications of these empirical findings in terms of facilitating person-centred care in nursing homes.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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