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End-of-Life Care in Nursing Homes: The Importance of CNA Staff Communication

Journal Article
September 1, 2010

This article presents a study of end-of-life care in New York State nursing homes, and how communication between certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and other nursing home employees can support or impede such care. The report concludes that facilities in which CNAs communicate better with coworkers perform better in end-of-life care processes. It notes that facilities that have enacted culture change are generally better at encouraging CNAs to communicate, but such facilities remain relatively rare.

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Key Takeaways

Better CNA communication is significantly associated with better end-of-life assessment and care delivery.
Staff education and hospice use intensity were associated with a nursing home's performance in end-of-life care.
Facilities with greater ethnic overlap between staff and residents demonstrated better end-of-life processes.
 
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