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Background and Objectives: The purpose of this project was to examine individual-level ethnic and racial differences and facility-level differences in types of complaints and rates of complaint resolution in a local long-term care ombudsman program. Research Design and Methods: We employed a mixed methods sequential explanatory design. First, we analyzed secondary complaint data based on residents’ race and ethnicity (n=464) and facility characteristics (n=101). Then, we conducted two focus groups with ombudsmen (n=12) to provide context for our quantitative findings and to explore the ombudsmen’s views on disparities in long-term care facilities. Results: Racial and ethnic minority residents were more likely to generate complaints related to residents’ rights than non-minority residents. Assisted living facilities were more likely to have complaints related to residents’ rights and outside agencies than nursing homes. The rate of complaint resolution increased among facilities with a higher proportion of minority residents, compared to facilities with a lower proportion of minority residents. However, an estimation of cross-level interaction revealed that non-Hispanic white residents in these facilities experienced faster complaint resolution than minority residents. Ombudsmen expressed concerns about communication barriers between minority residents and facility staff and discussed different complaint types and resolution rates according to facility types. Discussion and Implications: Our findings highlight disparities across long-term care facilities as well as disparities in care minority residents experience. Long-term care ombudsman program complaint data should be disaggregated by race and ethnicity of the residents to advocate for policy change at facility, state, and federal levels. [This work is a Accepted Manuscript -]


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work

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Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 3000

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Social Work Commons