gms | German Medical Science

First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e. V.

08.07.2021, online

The impact of covid-19 on district nursing care in the Netherlands: a nationwide qualitative study

Meeting Abstract

  • N. Bleijenberg
  • corresponding author J. D. Veldhuzen - Kenniscentrum Gezond en Duurzaam Leven, Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • B. M. Buurman
  • S. M. G. Zwakhalen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e.V. (DGP). First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS). sine loco [digital], 08.-08.07.2021. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2021. Doc21dgp04

doi: 10.3205/21dgp04, urn:nbn:de:0183-21dgp045

Published: July 5, 2021

© 2021 Bleijenberg et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: The sudden massive outbreak of covid-19 overwhelmed healthcare systems, including district nursing care. It is unclear what impact covid-19 had on district nursing care.

Objectives: To identify the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on district nurses and their patients in the Netherlands, the impact on organisational level and perceived challenges.

Design and methods: A nationwide qualitative study. In total, 38 district nurses working as ambassadors for district nursing care in The Netherlands were interviewed via telephone by 13 interviewers in April 2020. A semi-structured interview guide was developed. The interviewers wrote a recap after the interviews following a structured guide. These recaps were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Four themes were identified:

Impact on daily care, including changes in care organisation and using personal protective equipment;
Impact on patient and professional, including fear for contamination with covid-19;
Impact on district nurses, including the impact on their time and energy, changes in leadership and their role within the care organisation, and psychosocial consequences and mental support;
Future needs, including their fears for the future, role and cooperation with other care professionals, and needed changes on organisational and national level.

Conclusions: The covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on district nursing care on patient, professional, organisational and national level. While the impact varied between different organisations, all interviewed nurses expressed their concerns about covid-19 in the community. Changes on organisational and national level are needed to prepare for future problems caused by the pandemic.

Disclosure of potential conflict of interest: None

Source of funding: None