Design and Operation of the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities. Abstract



This methods report provides an overview of the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF) conducted in 2010. NSRCF is a first-ever national probability sample survey that collects data on U.S. residential care providers, their staffs and services, and their residents. Included are residential care facilities consisting of assisted living residences; board and care homes; congregate care; enriched housing programs; homes for the aged; personal care homes; and shared housing establishments that are licensed, registered, listed, certified, or otherwise regulated by a state. A survey-specific definition was used to select residential care facilities into the study. This report discusses the need for and objectives of the survey, design process, survey methods, and data availability.


In 2008, a small pilot study and a pretest were conducted to test and refine the survey protocol, data collection procedures, and questionnaires. NSRCF was conducted between March and November 2010. The survey used a two-stage probability sampling design in which residential care facilities were sampled. Then, depending on facility size, three to six current residents were sampled. In-person interviews were conducted with facility directors and designated staffs; no interviews were conducted with residents. The survey instrument contained a facility screening module, facility-and resident-level modules, a resident sampling module, and a pre-interview worksheet.


National data were collected on 2,302 facilities, and 8,094 current residents. The first-stage facility weighted response rate (for differential probabilities of selection) was 81%. The second-stage resident weighted response rate was 99%. Two public-use files will be released. The facility and resident files include sampling weights to generate national estimates, and design variables to calculate accurate standard errors.

Keywords: assisted living • residential care • long-term care


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