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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2017

Factors affecting residents transition from long term care facilities to the community: a scoping review

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Shannon Freeman, Kristen Bishop, Lina Spirgiene, Erica Koopmans, Fernanda C. Botelho, Trina Fyfe, Beibei Xiong, Stacey Patchett, Martha MacLeod
Wichtige Hinweise
The original article was corrected
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12913-017-2636-y.



Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are often places where persons with complex health needs that cannot be met in a community setting, reside and are cared for until death. However, not all persons experience continuous declines in health and functioning. For some residents who experience improvement in personal abilities and increased independence, transition from the LTCF to the community may be an option. This scoping review aimed to synthetize the existing evidence regarding the transition process from discharge planning to intervention and evaluation of outcomes for residents transitioning from LTCFs to the community.


This review followed a five-stage scoping review framework to describe the current knowledge base related to transition from LTCFs to community based private dwellings as the location of the discharge (example: Person’s own home or shared private home with a family member, friend, or neighbour). Of the 4221 articles retrieved in the search of 6 databases, 36 articles met the criteria for inclusion in this review.


The majority of studies focussed on an older adult population (aged 65 years or greater), were conducted in the USA, and were limited to small geographic regions. There was a lack of consistency in terminology used to describe both the facilities as well as the transition process. Literature consisted of a broad array of study designs; sample sizes ranged from less than 10 to more than 500,000. Persons who were younger, married, female, received intense therapy, and who expressed a desire to transition to a community setting were more likely to transition out of a LTCF while those who exhibited cognitive impairment were less likely to transition out of a LTCF to the community.


Findings highlight the heterogeneity and paucity of research examining transition of persons from LTCFs to the community. Overall, it remains unclear what best practices support the discharge planning and transition process and whether or not discharge from a LTCF to the community promotes the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of the persons. More research is needed in this area before we can start to confidently answer the research questions.
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