Exploring nurse-sensitive patient outcomes in Dutch district nursing care: a survey study

Authors Jessica D. Veldhuizen, Marieke J. Schuurmans, Misja C. Mikkers, Nienke Bleijenberg
Published in Health and Social Care in the Community
Publication date 2022
Research groups Proactive care for older people living at home
Type Article


There is a lack of evidence to guide district nurses in using nurse-sensitive patient outcomes as it is unclear how these outcomes are currently used in daily district nursing practice. Therefore, we aimed to explore (1) which nurse-sensitive patient outcomes are measured and how these outcomes are measured, (2) how district nurses use the outcomes to learn from and improve current practice and (3) the barriers and facilitators to using outcomes in current district nursing practice. An exploratory cross-sectional survey study was conducted. The survey was distributed online among nurses working for various district nursing care organisations across the Netherlands. The responses from 132 nurses were analysed, demonstrating that different instruments or questionnaires are available and used in district nursing care as outcome measures. The nurse-sensitive patient outcomes most often measured with validated instruments are pain using the Numeric Rating Scale or Visual Analogue Scale, delirium using the Delirium Observation Scale, weight loss using the Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire and caregiver burden using the Caregiver Strain Index or a Dutch equivalent. Falls and client satisfaction with delivered care are most often measured using unvalidated outcome measures. The other nurse-sensitive outcomes are measured in different ways. Outcomes are measured, reported and fed back to the nursing team multiple times and in various ways to learn from and improve current practice. In general, nurses have a positive attitude towards using nurse-sensitive outcomes in practice, but there is a lack of facilitation to support them. Because insight into how nurses can and should be supported is still lacking, exploring their needs in further research is desirable. Additionally, due to the high variation in the utilisation of outcomes in current practice, it is recommended to create more uniformity by developing (inter)national guidelines on using nurse-sensitive patient outcomes in district nursing care.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Health and Social Care in the Community
Key words community health nursing, district nursing care, home care, nurse-sensitive outcomes, nursing research, patient outcome assessment

Jessica Veldhuizen

Jessica Veldhuizen | Researcher | Research group Chronic Diseases

Jessica Veldhuizen

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Proactive care for older people living at home