Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Van E. Cooley


The focus of this case study was to discover how DCWs define success in their practice and what institutional and individual factors contribute to their successful practices. It describes how DCWs perceive quality of life for NH residents and how their practices reflect quality of life indicators. The conceptual model for which this research is based on was developed around the concepts that individual and institutional factors contribute to the successful practices of direct care workers; and, how these DCWs perceive quality of life influences how they practice to promote quality of life for nursing home residents. Using a case study approach, data was gathered from a convenience sample of fifteen direct care workers employed in one long term care facility in southwestern Michigan. The study utilized in-depth interviews to obtain information on the perceptions and practices of DCWs. How direct care workers prioritized eleven quality of life dimensions was investigated to understand their perceptions of quality of life for nursing home residents. Seven prominent themes and three emergent themes identified the individual and institutional factors that contributed to the successful practices of DCWs as well as how their practices reflected quality of life indicators. How direct care workers (DCW) perceive nursing home resident quality of life was revealed. Results of the study may add to the body of knowledge of successful practices of DCWs that promote quality of life of nursing home residents. These findings may also provide evidence to support revisions to the regulations guiding the content of DCW training.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access