Over the past few years, nursing facilities across the United States have encountered innumerable challenges. As a result, employees have been burdened with extreme workloads and various other factors impacting psychosocial health, all the while trying to provide optimal care for residents. Despite the many obstacles, how can we further the advancement of clinical research while improving quality of care for older adults, as well as maintain a sustainable work environment?

This year at the National Association for Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA) 35th annual conference we asked attendees questions about their interest in research conducted in nursing homes and about how they prioritize factors influencing their participation. Attendees scanned a QR code to electronically retrieve and answer the questions.

We asked 13 questions. For several of the items, we asked participants to rank items on a scale from most important (1) to least important (7).


  • Do you believe that clinical research in nursing homes is important? If no, why?
  • Has there been any clinical research performed in your facility within the last 3 years?
  • Are you interested in learning about future opportunities to participate in research studies?

Participation factors:

  • Recruiting and contracting
  • The intervention
  • Degree of monitoring
  • Eligibility
  • Informed consent required
  • Staff resources/effort to complete
  • Degree of support provided
  • Topic of interest relevant to NH
  • Payment to facility

Future of Clinical Research Participation in Nursing Facilities

Sixty-two conference attendees participated in our survey. Over 90% of participants believe clinical research in nursing homes is important, with a small percentage highlighting concern about regulations and the vulnerability of their nursing facility resident population. Although importance of research is clear, only 15% of nursing facilities have participated in a clinical research study within the past 3 years. The top 3 most important factors in research participation were monitoring requirements, staff resources/effort to complete, and topic of interest relevant to nursing homes.

The future of clinical research in nursing homes remains positive as numerous advancements have been developed and more are on the horizon in the foreseeable future. This information will help us develop and implement future research studies, mindful to the needs of nursing facilities. We continue seeking strong and stable relationships with nursing facilities during these current challenging times.

Thank you NADONA for distributing our survey and to all the attendees who participated.