There have been no reports of validation studies on the nursing diagnosis of relocation stress syndrome (RSS).
To validate the presence of some defining characteristics of RSS in a group of long-term care residents relocated en masse to a new facility
This study measured the effects of relocation on 106 elderly residents moved from one long-term care facility to another. The presence of five characteristics defining the nursing diagnosis of RSS (dependency, confusion, anxiety, depression, and withdrawal) were measured using the Multidimensional Observation Scale for Elderly Subjects (MOSES) scale, a tool previously validated for use among similar groups of individuals. Using the Chenitz model of relocation, measures were taken twice before and twice after the move to examine changes in these characteristics over time. No extraordinary efforts were made to alleviate RSS.
Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated no differences in the mean scores (p < 0.05) on these factors overall or from one measurement period to another.
On the basis of the findings from this research and supporting literature, the appropriateness of anticipating RSS during mass moves is questioned. Additional research with other measurement tools should be conducted to verify these results.