Evaluation of Better Jobs, Better Care: Frontline Supervisor Survey, 2005-2007 [Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont] (ICPSR 23000)

Published: Sep 26, 2008

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


Version V1

In long-term care, frontline supervisors play a central role in direct care workers' (DCW) job quality and turnover and are critical to the implementation of management changes. To better understand supervisors' perceptions of management practices, the quality of supervision, and the effect on DCW turnover and job quality, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the United States Department of Health and Human Services contracted with Pennsylvania State University to conduct this survey of supervisors participating in the Better Jobs, Better Care (BJBC) demonstration. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, the BJBC demonstration -- which took place in Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont -- tested innovative policy and practice models designed to improve the quality of DCW jobs in an effort to improve recruitment and retention of these workers and strengthen capacity to meet future demand for long-term care.

Frontline supervisors were interviewed from the four types of facilities and agencies that participated in the demonstration: skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, home care agencies, and adult day service providers. The survey explored the supervisors' job responsibilities, formal training, job satisfaction, and thoughts about quitting. It investigated the culture of the organizations in which the supervisors worked, probed for problems with the supervisors' jobs, assessed how rewarding the supervisors felt their jobs were, inquired as to whether the supervisors felt respected by their clients, DCWs, and managers, gauged the supervisors' assessments of the overall competency level of the DCWs in their organizations, and explored the supervisors' beliefs about managerial support for the BJBC project, how well the BJBC programs were executed, and whether the overall impact of the project was positive.

In addition, the respondents were queried about management practices (e.g., rotation of assignments to different services or units, mechanisms to handle employee concerns, and approaches used to handle poor performance or negative behaviors among employees). They were also asked about DCW training, mentoring, and career ladder programs, DCW participation in patient/resident/client care plans, and communication among DCWs and between DCWs and their supervisors. Respondents were also asked what was the most important thing that their employer could do both to improve the jobs of DCWs and to improve their own ability to do their jobs as supervisors of DCWs. Additional information collected by the survey includes the supervisors' age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, educational attainment, nursing degree or license (LPN, RN, Diploma RN, BSN, MSN, or Advanced Practice Nurse), wages, and health insurance coverage.

This collection comprises three data files: (1) Supervisor Identification Instrument Data, (2) Supervisor Survey Data, and (3) Clinical Managers Who Are Also Supervisors Data. The first file contains information collected by the Supervisor Identification Instrument that was submitted to the clinical manager at each BJBC provider organization. This instrument instructed clinical managers to name all of the supervisors in their organization and to indicate which supervisory responsibilities each one performed. The second data file contains the responses to the Supervisor Survey questionnaire.The third data file contains the responses of clinical managers who also functioned as supervisors in their organization. These clinical managers responded to the same questions in the Supervisor Survey questionnaire, except for ten questions that were worded somewhat differently.

Kemper, Peter. Evaluation of Better Jobs, Better Care: Frontline Supervisor Survey, 2005-2007 [Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-09-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR23000.v1

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (HHSP23320044303EC)

The data files are 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.

2005 -- 2007

2005 -- 2007

More information about BJBC can be found on the project's Web site.

The Supervisor Identification Instrument Data can be linked to the Supervisor Survey Data and the Clinical Managers Who Are Also Supervisors Data by matching on the common identification variable SID.

This survey is one of a number of activities conducted for the evaluation of the BJBC initiative, including separate surveys of long-term care DCWs and clinical managers.

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

All supervisors who provided ongoing supervision through daily contact with direct care workers in the skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, home care agencies, and adult day service providers that participated in the Better Jobs, Better Care demonstration.

survey data



2008-09-25 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.


  • The 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.