Objectives: To demonstrate the reliability and feasibility of a standardized protocol to assess and score urinary incontinence care in nursing homes.
Setting: Eighteen nursing homes (NHs).
Participants: Four hundred twenty-six incontinent residents.
Measurements: Resident interview data were used to score three quality indicators, and usable data were retrieved from 117 (27%) of 426 incontinent residents in 18 homes who were selected for interview based on evidence that they could accurately describe the care they received. Medical record data were used to score six quality indicators for a subset of 58 participants in five homes.
Results: Zero to 98% of the participants were scored as receiving care consistent with the intent of the indicator across the nine indicators. All NHs failed to provide chart documentation of an assessment to determine an incontinent resident's appropriateness for a scheduled toileting program (0% passed). The absence of an assessment to determine a resident's potential responsiveness to toileting assistance may explain why 103 incontinent residents who were documented on the Minimum Data Set as being on a scheduled toileting program reported that they received the same number of toileting assists per day (1.3) as the group of 114 incontinent residents who were not on a scheduled toileting program (1.0). The received toileting assistance frequencies reported by both groups were too low to maintain continence.
Conclusion: The standardized quality assessment system generated scores for nine incontinence quality indicators with good interrater reliability and provided explicit scoring rules that can facilitate replication. The focus of the indicators on care processes that are under the control of NH staff make the protocol useful for external survey and internal quality improvement purposes.