Open Access Open Badges Research

Does the care dependency of nursing home residents influence their health-related quality of life?-A cross-sectional study

Manuela Tabali1, Thomas Ostermann2*, Elke Jeschke3, Theo Dassen1 and Cornelia Heinze4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nursing Science, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburgerplatz 1, Berlin, 13353, Germany

2 Institute for Integrative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, Herdecke, 58313, Germany

3 Scientific Institute of the medical insurance plan, Rosenthaler Straße 31, Berlin, 10178, Germany

4 Protestant University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Teltower Damm 118, Berlin, 14167, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:41  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-41

Published: 11 March 2013



Studies on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are missing for nursing home residents independent from their health conditions or interventions after admission. Our aim was to analyse if the care dependency of nursing home residents influence their HRQOL and to describe HRQOL of nursing home residents at the time of admission.


Eleven German nursing homes were randomly selected for a cross-sectional multicentre study from April 2008 until December 2009. HRQOL was measured with the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) in the six domains “Physical Mobility”, ”Energy”, “Pain”, “Social Isolation”, “Emotional Reaction” and “Sleep”. Domain scores range from zero (good subjective health status) to 100 (poor subjective health status). Care dependency was evaluated using the Care Dependency Scale, age, sex, cognitive status and diseases were documented by the research assistants. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to quantify the influence of care dependency on HRQOL.


120 residents were included in total. HRQOL was mostly reduced in the domains “Physical Mobility” and ”Energy“ (mean scores >43.0), while impairment differences in the domains “Pain”, “Social Isolation”, “Emotional Reaction” and “Sleep” were only moderate (≤25.0). HRQOL was not influenced by the age. Women (n = 85) had a significantly poorer HRQOL in the domain “Pain” than men (mean score women: 29.5 ± 31.5; males: 14.9 ± 17.2; p = 0.011). Care dependency had an influence on the domain “Sleep” (ß = −0.195, p = 0.031), while the other domains were not influenced by care dependency. Residents with a low care dependency scored significantly lower (better HRQOL) in the domain “Sleep” than residents with a high care dependency (mean score 15.3; SD ± 19.0 versus mean score 32.8 SD ± 33.2; p < 0.02).


The level of care dependency has no influence on the HRQOL from the nursing home residents’ perspective apart from the domain “Sleep”. High care dependency residents have a lower HRQOL in the domain “Sleep” compared to moderate and low care dependency residents. We found a significantly lower HRQOL in women compared to men in the domain “Pain“.

Heath-related quality of life; Care dependency; Nursing home residents