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

Care during a blackout? Perceptions of disaster resilience in ambulatory care services

Meeting Abstract

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  • Michael Ewers - Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • Anne Thiele - Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • corresponding author Yvonne Lehmann - Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

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. Doc21dgp13

doi: 10.3205/21dgp13, urn:nbn:de:0183-21dgp136

Published: July 5, 2021

© 2021 Ewers 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: In addition to pandemics further hazards threaten our lives, e.g. large-scale prolonged power outages. Such a blackout is the focus of the research project "AUPIK – Maintenance of home care infrastructure in crisis and disasters". One of the four subprojects concentrates on the options and support needs of ambulatory care services in order to maintain care during such an event.

Objectives: The aim of the AUPIK project's sub-study presented was to elicit estimations of staff and managers of ambulatory nursing care services regarding crises and catastrophes.

Design and methods: An online survey was conducted at the end of 2020 to collect perceptions from 101 staff members, which was then analyzed descriptively. 8 guided interviews using content analysis with managers complemented quantitative survey data.

Results: Most respondents feel rather ill-prepared to a blackout or other disasters (e.g., fire, major accidents). Ambulatory care services seem less prepared than nursing homes do. Emergency plans rarely consider central tasks, such as evacuation. In the event of a disaster, respondents mainly rely on support from authorities, rescue services or civil protection. But there is a lack of concrete ideas about possible cooperations. Lessons learned from COVID pandemic are found to be only limited applicable to other crisis scenarios.

Conclusions: The findings of the study indicate a need to promote resilience in crises and disasters – on the level of staff members as well as on the level of ambulatory care services. On this basis strategies are now being developed, together with the perspectives of other stakeholders.

Conflict of interest: All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Funding: AUPIK received funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the research priority “Security Research” (funding code of the subprojects “Security and Nursing Care”: 13N15225). The funding body played no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretations of data and in writing the manuscript.