Davila, H., Ng, W., Akosionu, O., Thao, M. S., Skarphol, T., Virnig, B. A., ... & Shippee, T. P. (2022). Why Men Fare Worse: A Mixed-Methods Study Examining Gender Differences in Nursing Home Resident Quality of Life. The Gerontologist.

Background and Objectives Despite research documenting gender differencesin numerous outcomes in later life, we know little about gender differencesin quality of life (QoL) for nursing home (NH) residents. This study examinesthe relationship between gender and residents’ QoL, including possiblereasons for differences observed. Research Design and Methods We used amixed-methods design including surveys with a random sample of Minnesota NHresidents using a multidimensional measure of QoL (n = 9,852), residentclinical data, facility-level characteristics (n = 364), interviews withresidents (n = 64), and participant observations. We used linear mixed modelsand thematic analysis of resident interviews and observations to examinepossible gender-related differences in residents’ QoL. Results Aftercontrolling for individual and facility characteristics, men reported loweroverall QoL than women, including significantly lower ratings in several QoLdomains. In interviews, men noted being less satisfied with activities thanwomen, having fewer friends, and being less able to rely on family forsupport. Some women described the NH as a place of respite, but men moreoften described being dissatisfied with life in the NH and undesirable forlong-term living. Our observations were consistent with interview findingsbut provide additional nuances, such as that some men organized their ownsocial groups. Discussion and Implications Our findings suggest that men andwomen experience QoL differently in NHs, with men reporting lower QoL inseveral domains. Tailoring more activities for men and finding ways tostrengthen relationships for men in NHs could help reduce the genderdifferences in QoL we observed