Staff characteristics and care in Chinese nursing homes: A systematic literature review

Yuting Song, Ruth A. Anderson, Kirsten N. Corazzini, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for institutional long-term care (LTC) services, including nursing homes (NHs), is increasing in Mainland China in part due to the aging population and changing family structures. In developing NH staff training programs, a review is needed to synthesize knowledge about staff and resident characteristics, and care provided in NHs. This systematic review aims to describe, in Chinese NHs, 1) NH staff characteristics and the care they provide, 2) resident characteristics and care needs, and 3) the role of family members. The 45 articles included in this review covered both urban and rural areas of Mainland China. We found that staff in Chinese NHs were older and had lower education levels in comparison with those in western countries. Most direct caregivers in urban areas were migratory workers from rural area. Chinese NHs had few qualification standards for staff preparation for their roles in NHs. Also, functional levels of residents in Chinese NHs were higher compared to NH residents in western countries. In addition, family members played important roles in caring for NH residents. These findings suggest a need for staff development programs that tailor for lower educated NH staff and care needs of residents with widely varying levels in function from independent to bedbound in Mainland China. The findings also suggest that staff qualification standards require critically policy development to improve the capacity of Chinese NHs to provide competent and safe care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-436
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • China
  • Nursing homes
  • Resident care
  • Workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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