Four MDS 3.0 sections require resident interviews

In a major departure from the MDS 2.0, the MDS 3.0 will require nursing facility staff members to conduct structured resident interviews to complete several sections of the assessment.

Diane Brown and Frosini Rubertino talked about how resident interviews will be incorporated under the MDS 3.0 in HCPro’s Dec. 11 audio conference, “Interview Techniques under QIS and MDS 3.0: Build the Necessary Skills Now.”

According to the draft MDS 3.0, the four sections that require resident interviews are:

•    Section C: Cognitive status. This section will involve the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS), which will be conducted the day before, the day of, or day after the Assessment Reference Date (ARD), according to the most recent draft MDS 3.0 item set. The MDS includes several added instructions, such as how and when an interviewer may cue residents.
•    Section D: Mood. This section will use a standardized mood interview that is used in other healthcare settings. The only residents who will not be completing this interview will be residents who cannot make themselves understood, such as residents who are suffering from aphasia after a stroke and severely cognitively impaired residents.
•    Section F: Customary routine and activities. This section will replace section AC, preferences for customary routines and parts of section N, activity preferences. Section AC used to be completed at admission, but according to the draft MDS 3.0 item set, this interview will be completed every time the MDS is completed.
•    Section J: Pain. This section will involve a pain assessment and pain management interview. Residents will be asked about the presence, frequency, functional effect, and intensity of pain. This will offer nursing facilities the ability to address the pain needs of residents more appropriately, Brown said.

To view these MDS 3.0 sections, open the Draft MDS 3.0 item set on the Resources page.


  1. barbara

    Resident interviews are a large and important part of MDS 3.0. However, is there guidance in addressing needs of individuals that can not express their needs/preferences?

  2. Diane Brown

    There are accommodations on the most recent draft of the MDS 3.0 form for those individuals who can not express their needs or preferences.

    Each section that utilizes an interview offers an alternative staff observational assessment for any resident that cannot participate in an interview process. Some residents will not be able to participate due to severe dementia while other residents may not be able to participate due to aphasia, perhaps as the result of a stroke.

    For example, under Section F of the MDS 3.0, Preferences for Customary Routine and Activities, F0300 instructs providers to attempt to interview all residents able to communicate. If the resident is rarely or never understood and the family is not available, providers should skip to F0800, Staff Assessment of Daily and Activity Preferences.

    You can find the MDS 3.0 form and the MDS 2.0/3.0 crosswalk on our Resources page.

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