Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Debra Norris

Second Advisor

Dr. Carole South-Winter

Third Advisor

Dr. Gerald Yutrzenka


Nursing Homes, Care Quality, South Dakota, Medicare


Research has shown that current healthcare infrastructure is unsuited to fulfill the needs of the quickly growing population of retired Americans, a large portion of whom will require some form of long term service or support. With this in mind, the purpose of this study is to determine how certain factors such as; the incidence of use of various classes of drugs, staffing measures and education of staff, local population, and facility size relate to the overall quality of care in South Dakota nursing homes. Population data was collected from the 2010 U.S. Census and specific nursing home data was retrieved from the Nursing Home Compare Tool, part of the website. Data analysis was performed using regression analysis, which utilizes a method of least squares to determine the relationship between two factors based on the scatter of data points. The results were significant in some areas and unremarkable in others; the most intriguing subject was local population. There is a significant, inverse relationship between local population and nursing home care quality, which may be explained by the size of the facility in terms of the number of certified beds.



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