Health status and functional profile of residents in nursing homes in Iceland

About the project

Health status, functional profile, survival and prevalence of diabetes in nursing homes’ residents in Iceland during the years 2003-2014.

An increased need for nursing homes has followed the increased number of elderly and this might have changed the profile of the people who get admitted to such homes.

The project has three main aims. The first aim is to look at health status and functional profile of the residents at admission, with special emphasis on the comparison of residents with and without diabetes. The second aim is to analyse survival after admission to the nursing homes, comparing two periods, i.e. before and after a nursing home regulation change in 2008.

The third aim is to investigate the documented physical activity of residents and their utilisation of physical therapy and occupational therapy.

This is a retrospective, descriptive analysis of a large data base of Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments from all nursing homes in Iceland over the years 2003-2014. The MDS is a part of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) and is designed to rate functioning and health care needs of nursing home residents. It has been mandatory from the year 2003 to conduct the RAI assessments three times annually, for all nursing homes residents. These assessment data have served as a basis for public funding of the nursing homes.

The MDS, version 2.0, has 21 sections with about 350 clinical data elements, including six specific RAI scales. The MDS has been found both reliable and valid, and enables comparison over time and between countries and institutions.


Árún K. Sigurðardóttir, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Akureyri, Iceland
Ingibjörg Hjaltadóttir, Associate Professor University of Iceland, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik
Ragnheiður Harpa Arnardóttir, Associate Professor School of Health Sciences UNAK
Kjartan Ólafsson,Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences UNAK


University of Iceland, Iceland
Landspitalinn University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
Akureyri Hospital, Acureyri, Iceland