Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in Qualitative Health Research 20(9) 1283-1294; doi: 10.1177/1049732310369337


Regulatory oversight is intended to improve the health outcomes of nursing home residents, yet evidence suggests that regulations can inhibit mindful staff behaviors that are associated with effective care. We explored the influence of regulations on mindful staff behavior as it relates to resident health outcomes, and offer a theoretical explanation of why regulations sometimes enhance mindfulness and other times inhibit it. We analyzed data from an in-depth, multiple-case study including field notes, interviews, and documents collected in eight nursing homes. We completed a conceptual/thematic description using the concept of mindfulness to reframe the observations. Shared facility mission strongly impacted staff perceptions of the purpose and utility of regulations. In facilities with a resident-centered culture, regulations increased mindful behavior, whereas in facilities with a cost-focused culture, regulations reduced mindful care practices. When managers emphasized the punitive aspects of regulation we observed a decrease in mindful practices in all facilities.