Research

EQuaLS projects focus on system-level approaches to improving person-centered quality in long-term services and supports. The projects are funded by the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Minnesota Department of Human Services, and other organizations and involve partnerships with a variety of local and national organizations (e.g., Minnesota Diverse Elders Coalition; Health Services Research Institute).

Current Projects

System Factors and Racial Disparities in Nursing Home Quality of Life and Care, 2015-2021
This is a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities to examine modifiable system-level mechanisms for quality of life and quality of care for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) nursing home residents. The project uses a mixed-methods design (qualitative and quantitative methods) with state and national data and aims to develop system-level solutions to address equity.

Supplemental Award – System Factors and Racial Disparities in Nursing Home Quality of Life and Care for Black, Indigenous and Other Residents of Color
This project is funded by the National Institute on Aging. This is a supplement to the R01, which aims to examine modifiable system-level mechanisms for quality of life and quality of care for racial/ethnic minority nursing home residents. The project uses a mixed-methods design with state and national data and includes family members of BIPOC residents with dementia and observations and qualitative data collection in dementia care units.

Person-Reported and Health Care Utilization Outcomes of Home and Community Based Care Recipients With and Without Alzheimer’s Disease and its Related Dementias, 2020-2024
This is a 4-year grant from the National Institute on Aging. Providing high quality home and community-based care (HCBS) for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is a national priority. Despite this priority, very little is known about the relationship between HCBS and person-reported outcomes (i.e., value of services from the client perspective) for those with and without AD/ADRD and whether person-reported HCBS outcomes influence health care use. Our proposed study will be the first to provide data on these complex relationships and will help inform the design of HCBS programs.

Supplemental Award – System Factors and Racial Disparities in Nursing Home Quality of Life and Care for Residents with Dementia and Serious Mental Illness
This project is funded by the National Institute on Aging. This project examines patterns of admission, quality of life and quality of care, and discharge from the nursing home for residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and co-occurring serious mental illness by racial/ethnic group, using unique data. The overall goal is to improve policy and nursing home practices to support better services for adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and co-occurring serious mental illness and reduce the associated racial/ethnic disparities in nursing home residents’ quality of life.

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Home and Community-Based Quality
This project uses claims and qualitative data, in addition to assembling a community advisory board, to understand how race/ethnicity impacts home and community-based services (e.g., home care, adult day care) use and to develop potential mechanisms to address it. This project is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The community advisory board will help determine next steps for action for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Designing State-Wide Assisted Living Report Card
This project uses a national literature review, stakeholder data collection in Minnesota, and survey development work to design and implement surveys to measure quality of life for assisted living residents in Minnesota. This project is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. This work will be used to establish an assisted living report card in Minnesota, which includes various metrics of assisted living quality to guide consumers and their families in decision-making.

Creating person-centered measures of quality for home and community-based services 
This project is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. This project uses National Core Indicators Data-Aging and Disabilities (NCI-AD) for the state of Minnesota to examine racial/ethnic differences in home and community-based services quality for clients in Minnesota and to develop quality measures for the state dashboard to track performance across providers.

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