Evaluation of Better Jobs Better Care: Direct Care Worker Survey, 2004-2007 [Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont] (ICPSR 29064)

Principal Investigator(s): Kemper, Peter, Pennsylvania State University


Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, Better Jobs Better Care (BJBC) was a demonstration program that sought to bring about changes in public policy and management practice that would lead to improved recruitment and retention of high-quality paraprofessional direct care workers (DCW) in nursing homes as well as in home- and community-based settings. This was to be accomplished by implementing both policy and management practice goals. Policy goals included developing initiatives related to wages and benefits, incentives for job redesign, curriculum and credentialing, professional associations, and promotion of public awareness and policies. Practice goals involved interventions related to caregiving skill development, peer mentoring, team building, top management training, supervisor training, and provider-specific interventions. The program established demonstration projects in Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont which enrolled long-term care establishments across the spectrum of long-term care settings: skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, home care agencies, and adult day service providers.

Conducted as part of the BJBC evaluation, this survey interviewed DCWs at two points during the demonstration. The Time 1 interview was fielded as soon as establishments enrolled in the demonstration and provided a list of their DCWs (July 2004 to December 2006), and the Time 2 interviews were completed 12 to 28 months after the Time 1 interviews (April 2006 to June 2007). Both rounds of the survey used the same self-administered questionnaire which included questions about length of employment, job satisfaction, job rewards and problems, supervision, perceptions of quality of care, job confidence, training, intent to quit, and demographic characteristics. The survey also elicited recommendations for improving DCWs' jobs by asking the open-ended question "What is the single most important thing your employer could do to improve your job as a direct care worker?"

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    The data file is restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Kemper, Peter. Evaluation of Better Jobs Better Care: Direct Care Worker Survey, 2004-2007 [Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont]. ICPSR29064-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-11-05. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29064.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29064.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (49675, 58408)
  • Atlantic Philanthropies

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adult care services, assisted living facilities, career expectations, home care agencies, home care workers, job satisfaction, long term care, nursing homes, supportive services, work attitudes, work environment

Geographic Coverage:    Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, United States, Vermont

Time Period:   

  • 2004--2007

Date of Collection:   

  • 2004--2007

Universe:    Direct care workers in the care providers that participated in the BJBC demonstration projects. A direct care worker was defined as an individual who provides hands-on personal care (e.g., assistance with bathing, dressing, transferring and feeding) as a significant part of their job at a nursing facility, home health agency, assisted living organization, adult day center or other personal care organization. Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses are excluded. Also excluded are workers who help with cleaning, meal preparation and chores, but do not provide personal care. Typical job titles include nurse aide, home health aide, and personal care attendant. However, direct care workers are not limited to these job titles.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

More information about this study can be found on the BJBC Web site.

The BJBC evaluation collected data from several sources, including an employment information system, site visits, a survey of frontline supervisors, a survey of clinical managers, and this survey of DCWs. The survey of frontline supervisors was released as ICPSR 23000: EVALUATION OF BETTER JOBS, BETTER CARE: FRONTLINE SUPERVISOR SURVEY, 2005-2007 [IOWA, NORTH CAROLINA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, VERMONT]; and the survey of clinical managers was released as ICPSR 29063: EVALUATION OF BETTER JOBS BETTER CARE: CLINICAL MANAGER SURVEY, 2004-2007 [IOWA, NORTH CAROLINA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, VERMONT].


Sample:    The survey attempted to interview every person included in the defined universe.

Mode of Data Collection:    self-enumerated questionnaire

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-11-05

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