Home Care Research Initiative

An RWJF National Program

Field of Work: Research on home and community-based services

Problem Synopsis: Home and community-based services—ranging from skilled nursing and physical therapy to help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing—are vital to many people with chronic illness or disability. By 1995, these services had become the fastest growing component of health care spending in the United States, according to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Synopsis of the Work: The Home Care Research Initiative supported primary research projects to improve knowledge about home care health policy and practice.

Key Results

  • According to the national program director, Penny Hollander Feldman, PhD, at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the program substantially contributed to current knowledge about spending on home and community-based services and options for expanding managed long-term care and assisted living. The Home Care Research Initiative:

    • Addressed gaps in knowledge that are relevant to policy by funding nine primary research projects.
    • Synthesized existing research, worked to develop consensus on home and community-based service goals and successes and advanced new concepts and paradigms by commissioning 26 papers (20 of which were completed) to inform policy-makers, practitioners and researchers.
    • Worked with policy-makers and long-term care opinion leaders to identify relevant long-term-care research issues and understand how to communicate research results in ways that are responsive to their needs through meetings and publications.