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Resident-to-Resident Aggression in Nursing Homes: Results From a Qualitative Event Reconstruction Study

NCJ Number
Gerontologist Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: 2012 Pages: 24-33
Date Published
November 2011
10 pages

This study used a qualitative event reconstruction methodology in order to identify the major forms of resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) in nursing homes.


The five broad themes identified from the qualitative analysis of the event reconstructions were invasion of privacy or personal integrity, roommate issues, intentional verbal aggression, unprovoked actions, and inappropriate sexual behavior. The diversity of these forms of RRA has implications for related research. Researchers should not categorize all cases of RRA as a single clinical entity, because this is unlikely to produce valid studies of etiology, natural history, or intervention. Researchers must use a more nuanced and differentiated view of RRA, recognizing the possibility that the causes and consequences of various RRA types may differ significantly. A second implication of the study is that environmental characteristics of a nursing home are likely to contribute to RRA. The RRA events were identified within a 2-week period in all units (n = 53) in nursing homes located in New York City. Narrative reconstructions were created for each event based on information from residents and staff who were involved, as well as other sources. The event reconstructions were analyzed using qualitative methods in order to identify common features of RRA events. 1 table and 41 references

Date Published: November 1, 2011