Abstract

Objectives. The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is a comprehensive, federally mandated assessment for all residents of long-term-care facilities who receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. This study investigated the degree to which occupational therapists contribute to the MDS 2.0 process.

Method. A 60-item survey developed for the study was mailed to 252 occupational therapists who worked in skilled nursing or intermediate care facilities throughout the United States, and 148 (59%) usable surveys were received. Test–retest reliability was assessed in a randomly selected subsample of 75, with a 73% rate of return. Fair to perfect reliability for individual items was found, with substantial overall mean reliability.

Results. Of the 148 respondents, 98% were familiar with and 90% were involved in the MDS process. Of the 22 MDS sections, the most involvement was with Section G, which includes subsections for dressing, eating, personal hygiene, toilet use, bathing, functional range of motion, functional rehabilitation potential, and change in activities of daily living function. The types of involvement varied from writing directly on the MDS to verbal or written reports to others responsible for writing on the MDS. Fewer than half of respondents reported contributions to MDS sections dealing with cognition, psychosocial well-being, mood or behavior, communication, vision, and activity pursuit patterns. Although most respondents were familiar with the Functional Independence Measure, they were more likely to be involved in the MDS process.

Conclusion. Even though the MDS is a comprehensive assessment, most respondents contributed only to the self-care parts of the MDS, with patterns of involvement lacking standardization across facilities

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