A measure of person-centered practices in assisted living: The PC-PAL

Sheryl Zimmerman, Josh Allen, Lauren W. Cohen, Jackie Pinkowitz, David Reed, Walter O. Coffey, Peter Reed, Michael Lepore, Philip D. Sloane, Jayne Clairmont, Lisa Demeter, Bob Detrick, Susan Frazier, Patricia Giorgio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: Develop self-administered questionnaires of person-centeredness for completion by residents and staff in assisted living (AL), in response to concerns that AL is not person-centered; also, demonstrated person-centeredness is necessary for Medicaid support as a home- and community-based services provider. Design: Community-based participatory research partnership among a research team, a consortium of 11 stakeholder organizations, and others. Methods included literature review, item generation and reduction, cognitive testing, field testing, exploratory factor analysis, and convergent and discriminant validity testing. Setting: Cognitive testing conducted in 2 AL residences and field testing conducted in 19 diverse, stratified AL residences in 6 states. Participants: Eight residents and staff participated in cognitive testing, and 228 residents and 123 staff participated in field testing. Measurements: Feasibility and psychometric testing of draft questionnaires that included 75 items (resident version) and 102 items (staff version), with parallel items on both versions as appropriate. Results: The final resident questionnaire included 49 items and 4 factors: well-being and belonging, individualized care and services, social connectedness, and atmosphere. The staff questionnaire included 62 items and 5 factors: workforce practices, social connectedness, individualized care and services, atmosphere, and caregiver-resident relationships. Staff scored person-centeredness higher than did residents, reflecting their different perspectives. Conclusion: The Person-Centered Practices in Assisted Living (PC-PAL) questionnaires measure person-centeredness from the perspectives of residents and staff, meaning that they reflect the concepts and items considered to be important to these key stakeholders. Use of these instruments to describe, assess, quantify, ensure, and ultimately improve person-centeredness in AL is feasible and appropriate for all AL settings, and supported by numerous national organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted living
  • HCBS
  • Measurement
  • Person-centered
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'A measure of person-centered practices in assisted living: The PC-PAL'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this