Functional Status of Mexican American Nursing Home Residents

Laura K. Chiodo, Meghan B. Gerety, Cynthia D. Mulrow, John E. Cornell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To compare sociodemographic characteristics, physical function, and cognition of Mexican American and non‐Hispanic white nursing home residents. Cross‐sectional survey of residents in eight proprietary nursing homes and one Veterans Affairs nursing home in San Antonio, Texas. Residents with lengths of stay greater than or equal to 90 days. Sociodemographic characteristics, residence prior to admission, and dependency in activities of daily living (ADL) were abstracted from the medical record. The Folstein Mini‐Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered in the resident's self‐selected language to a subset of residents. There were 1160 participants, 261 Mexican American (23%) and 899 non‐Hispanic white residents (77%). Mexican Americans were younger (77.1 vs 80.7 years), more often men (44% vs 30%), less educated (6.2 vs 10.8 years), and more often dependent on Medicaid funding (66% vs 40%) than non‐Hispanic whites. Mexican Americans were less independent in feeding (34% vs 49%), transfers (18% vs 30%), toileting (19% vs 29%), and dressing (12% vs 19%). Mean MMSE scores were different in Mexican Americans and non‐Hispanic whites (8.93 vs 11.85), and this difference remained significant after adjustment for age and education (P = 0.04). ADL function was strongly associated with MMSE (P = 0.0001) and less strongly associated with ethnicity (P = 0.056) in multiple regression analysis. This study provides the strongest evidence to date that Mexican American nursing home residents are more cognitively and functionally impaired than non‐Hispanic white residents. Further studies should explore whether medical conditions, selection and referral patterns or cultural factors explain functional differences between Mexican American and non‐Hispanic white nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-296
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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