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Interpersonal Care Processes in Nursing Homes


The article “Interpersonal Care Processes, Falls, and Hospitalizations in Green House and Other Nursing Homes” forms part of Horn et al.’s (2016) work. The study investigates the problem of interpersonal care processes in various Green House homes and nursing facilities. The study claims the existence of a scholarly gap in research when it comes to determining whether interpersonal care processes influence issues such as resident falls. The researchers investigate the question of whether interpersonal care processes such as communication between Green House home residents or nursing professionals and dietary experts influence the rate of hospitalization or the number of falls. The study emphasizes the need for consistent communication and collaboration between dietary professionals working in nursing home care facilities, nursing assistants, and residents when addressing issues such as residents’ weight loss, a mechanism that can minimize cases of falls while reducing the frequency of hospitalization. They support this finding by collecting and analyzing data on the significance of their studied interpersonal care processes from various nursing homes.

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The authors’ primary objective entails comparing various care structures coupled with interpersonal care processes under Green House care models in the context of other nursing home frameworks. Attention is given to the outcomes of hospital transfers and inhabitants’ falls. The article finds that interpersonal care processes, for instance, communication between nursing assistants, dietary staff, and Green House home occupants on health issues (such as the status of their nutrition, and weight loss) and the high staffing ratio have a positive outcome. They minimize the number of falls and hospital transfers. This conclusion stems from evidence derived from 19 nursing care homes.


Literature Review

A literature review is quite important in any study since it enables authors to locate their subject in the existing body of literature as presented by other scholars. The authors provide the literature review that successfully identifies the progress made in the research topic, including the underlying gaps that other researchers have not fully addressed. Horn et al. (2016) assert that the current research on interpersonal processes in nursing home settings has relied on secondary data as documented in the Medicare and Medicaid reports and online surveys. However, these standard databases and/or medical records lack information detailing interpersonal aspects. For instance, the documentation of risk assessment fails to provide any information on interdisciplinary communications mechanisms (Smits, Bowden, Falconer, & Strasser, 2014). Therefore, a gap exists in care processes, especially the role that interpersonal and inter-professional aspects play in realizing outcomes, which the research emphasizes in Green House home settings.

The relevance of the Study

Falls among seniors in their living places present a significant problem that is relevant to today’s health issues. Indeed, falls among persons aged 65 and over are highly severe to the extent that they have been associated with causing death among this category of people. Ambrose, Paul, and Hausdorf (2013) reveal that 40% of older adults have experienced falls in their lives. Hence, the current study on the mechanisms for preventing or reducing such falls is relevant to today’s health issues. Nursing homes, including Green House facilities, have become increasingly popular among seniors.

Research Type

Research can take different forms. Scholars can decide to adopt an experimental, non-experimental, or even a quasi-experimental study depending on the nature of the subject, which they wish to examine. The current research is non-experimental. The researchers cannot change or manipulate the variable (interpersonal care process) that predicts the outcome (hospitalization and the reduction of falls) in Green House homes. The research involves a “prospective, longitudinal, and an observational study examining differences across Green House homes and other nursing homes in structures and interpersonal care processes and two quality outcome measures: falls and hospital transfers” (Horn et al., 2016, p. 34). Hence, the research depends on the authors’ interpretations, interactions, and observations to derive the relationship between the studied variables.

Sample Evaluation

The researchers identified a population of 18 Green House certified institutions. However, only 14 of them accepted the invitation to participate in the research. This sample represented a satisfactory 78% of the population. The individual Green House agencies singled out two homes arbitrarily to take part in the study. This approach eliminated the possibility of bias. It is crucial to point out the fact that the sample also reflected a range of residents’ characteristics, including age, gender, and daily living activities. Hence, it is evident that the sample was highly representative of the Green House home residents. Consequently, it was appropriate for the study. Nevertheless, the nursing home unit sample was unrepresentative of nursing homes. As a result, it was biased and hence inappropriate for the study.

The practicality of the Work

The work is practical since it has helped to reduce falls, hospitalization frequencies, and the number of transfers of residents who dwell in Green House homes. The research results can be applied to nursing care home residents to enhance risk identification, collaboration among players in the sector, multi-disciplinary communication, approaches to risks such as fall prevention, and the development of the appropriate structures in nursing homes to realize the relevant outcomes. However, I believe the work can be applied even to individual home settings, especially among obese populations, where falls are a significant risk factor that has led to hospitalization.

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Improvements in the Study

Structures and various interpersonal care processes have different levels of falls and transfers. In the article, those with lower levels showed no difference in terms of frequency when compared to nursing and Green House homes. This situation can be improved by incorporating more nursing homes in the sample to help in making comparisons.

Clarity and Straightforwardness of the Article

Horn et al. (2016) present their work clearly and straightforwardly. For instance, they evidently and straightforwardly introduce interpersonal care processes as another practical approach to addressing the problem of falls and the associated hospitalization challenges.

Further Research

However, a room for further research exists. The research underlines the existence of interpersonal care processes coupled with structures, which when altered can translate into fewer transfers and falls in nursing and Green House homes. Further research with a larger sample can help to verify such expectations.


One mechanism for reducing falls and the underlying challenge of hospitalization among seniors involves the installation of handrails and ensuring that dwellings do not have loose rugs on which they can trip over. Although Horn et al. (2016) employed a small sample size of nursing homes to compare the outcomes of the studied variables in the context of Green House outcomes, they introduced an important alternative or additional approach to reducing falls. The article’s findings are critical in propelling future researches on nursing homes. The findings stimulate the adoption of the necessary practices in nursing home care to guarantee better outcomes. The practices may involve communication and collaborative multidisciplinary approaches in nursing homes.


Ambrose, A., Paul, G., & Hausdorff, J. (2013). Risk factors for falls among older adults: A review of the literature. Maturitas, 75(1), 51-61.

Horn, S., Hudak, S., Barrett, R., Cohen, L., Reed, D., & Zimmerman, S. (2016). Interpersonal care processes falls, and hospitalizations in green house and other nursing homes. Seniors Housing & Care Journal, 24(1), 31-46.

Smits, S., Bowden, D., Falconer, J., & Strasser, D. (2014). Improving medical leadership and teamwork: An iterative process. Leadership in Health Services, 27(4), 299-315.

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