How to assess experienced quality of care in nursing homes from the client's perspective: results of a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The culture shift in nursing homes from task-oriented to person-centered care has created a need to assess clients' experienced quality of care (QoC), as this corresponds best with what matters to them. This study aimed to gain insight into how to assess experienced QoC in nursing homes from the client's perspective. Method A qualitative study was performed consisting of a focus group with client representatives (n = 10), a focus group with nursing home staff (n = 9) and a world cafe with client representatives and staff recruited from the Living Lab in Ageing & Long-Term Care (n = 24). Three questions about assessing experienced QoC from the client's perspective were addressed during data collection: 1) What content needs to be assessed? 2) What assessment procedures are needed? and, 3) Who needs to be involved in the assessment? Semi-structured questions, photo elicitation and creative writing were used to answer these questions. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results Participants indicated that experienced QoC mostly occurs within the interactions between clients, family and staff, highlighting the impact of relationships. They suggested assessments should focus on three aspects: 1) knowledge about the client, 2) a responsive approach, and 3) a caring environment. These can be assessed by having conversations with clients, their families and staff, and additionally observing the clients in their living environments. Sufficient time and resources are prerequisites for this. Additionally, the person performing the quality assessments needs to possess certain communication and empathy skills. Conclusion It is important to include the perspectives of the client, family and staff when assessing experienced QoC, in line with the principles underlying relationship-centered care. In order to be feasible, it is recommended to incorporate quality assessments into the nursing homes' daily routines. Further research with clients, family and staff in nursing homes is needed to develop a feasible, reliable and valid method that assesses experienced QoC from the client's perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020


  • Quality of care measurement
  • Long-term care
  • Caring relationships
  • Relationship-centered care
  • World cafe
  • Focus group
  • Client perspective

Cite this