CAHPS Nursing Home Surveys

The CAHPS Nursing Home Surveys include three standardized instruments designed to gather information on the experiences of adult nursing home residents and their family members. Each instrument is designed to meet a different need:

  • Long-Stay Resident Survey. An in-person structured interview for long-term residents.
  • Discharged Resident Survey. A questionnaire for recently discharged short-stay residents.
  • Family Member Survey. A questionnaire that asks family members about their experiences with the nursing home.

These surveys can be used in monitoring programs designed to improve residents' experiences in nursing homes. For example, they can be a useful measurement tool for organizations focused on the Person-Centered Care goals of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign.

The development of these instruments was jointly supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Resident Surveys

The CAHPS Nursing Home Surveys include two separate instruments for nursing home residents: one for those who live in a nursing home and another for those who have been discharged after a short stay.

  • Download the Long-Stay Resident Survey. This survey asks about the experiences of long-stay residents (more than 100 days) currently living in nursing home facilities. Unlike other CAHPS surveys, it is designed to be administered in person.
    • English (Word, 128 KB; PDF, 717 KB)
    • Spanish (Word, 140 KB; PDF, 707 KB)
  • Download the Discharged Resident Survey. This survey asks about the experiences of residents recently discharged from nursing homes after short stays (no more than 100 days). It is designed to be administered by mail.
    • English (Word, 144 KB; PDF, 624 KB)
    • Spanish (Word, 142 KB; PDF, 600 KB)

The two resident questionnaires are nearly identical in substance; the only difference is that the Discharged Resident Instrument also covers therapy services (and may cover the transition out of nursing home, depending on the results of ongoing analyses).

The instruments cover the following topics:

  • Environment
  • Care
  • Communication and Respect
  • Autonomy
  • Activities

Quality of life. Both instruments ask respondents about the quality of care they have received at their nursing home and their quality of life in the facility. These are currently the only CAHPS instruments that ask about quality of life. The quality-of-care questions generally use a 0 to 10 rating scale, while the quality-of-life questions generally follow a "yes/no/sometimes" response format.

Learn about the development of the Nursing Home Resident Surveys.

Family Member Survey

This survey asks respondents to report on their own experiences (not the resident's) with the nursing home and their perceptions of the quality of care provided to a family member living in a nursing home. It is designed to be administered by mail.

  • Download the Family Member Survey.
    • English (Word, 121 KB; PDF, 642 KB)
    • Spanish (Word, 116 KB; PDF, 630 KB)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requested development of this questionnaire to complement the Long-Stay Resident Instrument. Learn about the development of the Nursing Home Family Member Survey.

Quality Measures From the Family Member Survey

The Nursing Home Family Member Survey produces the following measures of patient experience:

  • Meeting Basic Needs: Help with Eating, Drinking, and Toileting
  • Nurses/Aides' Kindness/ Respect Towards Resident
  • Nursing Home Provides Information/ Encourages Respondent Involvement
  • Nursing Home Staffing, Care of Belongings, and Cleanliness
  • Overall Rating of Care at Nursing Home

Review CAHPS Nursing Home Family Member Survey Measures.

Page last reviewed April 2018
Page originally created March 2012
Internet Citation: CAHPS Nursing Home Surveys. Content last reviewed April 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/cahps/surveys-guidance/nh/index.html