This study examined 85 dyads of nursing home (NH) residents and relatives to understand how well family proxies understand residents’ preferences. Results demonstrate that proxies understand some preferences better than others and that the use of a dichotomous answer choice (important vs. not important) increases concordance within dyads. Notably, dyads differ on the recognizing the importance of growth activities for residents, with residents reporting greater importance than proxies. The study sheds light on how family members can inform care planning for residents.

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National Institute of Nursing Research (R21NR011334), The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation


Heid, A. R., Bangerter, L. R., Abbott, K. M., & VanHaitsma, K. (2017). Do family proxies get it right? concordance in reports of nursing home residents’ everyday preferences. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 36(6), 667-691. doi:10.1177/0733464815581485

Team Members as Authors

Members of the the PELI Team who contributed to this publication.

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D., FGSA

Avatar for Dennis Cheatham

Dennis Cheatham

Communication Director

Professor, Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing
Director, Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care

Kimberly VanHaitsma, Ph.D., FGSA