Risk factors for infection in home health care: Analysis of national Outcome and Assessment Information Set data

Jingjing Shang, Jinjiao Wang, Victoria Adams, Chenjuan Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients in home health care (HHC), a rapidly growing healthcare sector, are at high risk for infections. This study aimed to identify risk factors for infections among HHC patients using the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) data. We used a 5% random sample of the 2013 national OASIS data. Infections were identified if records indicated that patients were hospitalized or received emergency care for one of three types of infections (respiratory, wound site, and urinary tract infection). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for each individual infection type. The final analysis included 128,163 patients from 8,255 HHC agencies nationwide. Approximately 3.2% of the patients developed infections during their HHC stay that led to hospitalization or emergency care treatment. We found that associations between demographics and infection risk are specific to the type of infection. In general, a history of multiple hospitalizations in past 6 months, comorbidity, having a severe condition at HHC admission, and impaired physical functioning increased HHC patients' risk of infections. We also identified that HHC patients with caregivers who needed training in providing medical procedure or treatment are at higher risk for wound-site infections. Our findings suggest that patients with underlying medical conditions and limited physical function status are more likely to develop infection. The caregiver's lack of training in providing needed care at home also places HHC patients at high risk for infection. Education for patients and caregivers should be tailored based on their health literacy level to ensure complete understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-386
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • caregiver
  • home health care
  • infection
  • long-term care
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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