1. Wishes and needs of nursing home residents were assigned to 12 different themes, the most frequently mentioned being: autonomy, independence, choice, control, death, dying, end of life, medication, treatment, hygiene.

2. Wishes and needs were found to vary significantly between individual residents and were not generalizable.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Research has shown that when nursing home (NH) residents are cared for using a person-centered approach, they experience greater satisfaction of care. This approach relies on the understanding of NH residents wishes and needs which have no yet been studied. As a result, the purpose of the present scoping review was to provide an empirical overview of the range of wishes and needs of NH residents.

Of 1356 screened articles from 12 databases, 51 (n=28 quantitative studies) were included in the analysis from 1990 to 2020. Studies that included constructs of “wishes” and/or “needs” in NH residents were included. Studies that included people not living in a NH or who were on average <60 years old were excluded. Data analysis was done using thematic analysis.

Results demonstrated that wishes and needs were assigned to 12 different themes; the most frequently mentioned being: autonomy, independence, choice, control, death, dying, end of life, medication, treatment, hygiene. Furthermore, wishes and needs were found to vary significantly between individual residents and were not generalizable – for instance some residents wanted to receive life-sustaining measures while others rejected them. However, this study was limited by the potential overweighing of the qualitatively surveyed wishes and needs due to the absence of reporting on frequencies. Nonetheless, the present study highlighted the diversity and complexity of NH resident wishes which underscores the importance of expertise in providing individualized care for this population.

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