Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2011 Budget: $136,072 Funding Agency: WorkSafeNB
Title: A Longitudinal Study of existing and new nursing home infrastructure design and the impact on employee safety; resident socialization and employee efficiency
Category: Occupational Disease, Injury and Health Services
Subcategory: Occupational Injury
Keywords: nursing home, resident socialization, employee safety, employee efficiency, nursing home infrastructure design
Link to research website:


Residents in New Brunswick Nursing Homes are requiring more complex care. Eighty percent of the residents require assistance with feeding, toileting, transfers, repositioning, dressing and ambulation. The changing needs of the residents coupled with the aging infrastructure of long term-care facilities have been charged with contributing to some of the challenges faced by the provinces nursing homes. While trying to maintain quality care staff are suffering an increasing number of muskuloskeletal injuries and worker compensation claims. Despite efforts to transform homes through revised regulations and design standards, little empirical evidence exists on the efficacy of these standards and the impact they have on daily operations


To examine the impact of New Brunswick’s new design standards for nursing homes. Specifically the study will examine the impact these standards have on 1) the number, type and degree of staff injuries ii) the number, type and degree of resident injuries iii) resident socialization iv) perceptions of the home like atmosphere of the nursing home by residents, staff, families and volunteers v) employee efficiency

Anticipated Results:

The findings will provide evidence to inform current and future design standards for New Brunswick nursing homes. This study will contribute to understanding how best to organize, design and work within a nursing home with different residents requiring different levels of care and services. including interventions to prevent injuries.


Darleen MacKinnon (Providence Health Care Vancouver), Cindy Donovan (Loch Lomond Villa Saint John), Rose McCloskey (University of New Brunswick, WorkSafeNB)