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Archives of Public Health

Volume 73 Supplement 1

Methods in Epidemiology Symposium

Open Access

Caring for homecare: A mixed methods analysis of the current and future role of home nurses

  • Kristel De Vliegher1,
  • Anja Declercq2,
  • Bert Aertgeerts3 and
  • Philip Moons4
Archives of Public HealthThe official journal of the Belgian Public Health Association201573(Suppl 1):P43

Published: 17 September 2015


The financial constraints and the shift of care from the hospital to the homecare setting challenges home nursing to provide care to sicker patients than in the past, to perform more intensive and technically complex nursing activities at home, and to think about a more efficient and effective use of the current home nursing staff. A mixed-method analysis was performed to understand the impact of these evolutions in home nursing in general and on the current and future role of home nurses.


To understand the evolutions in home nursing and its impact on home nurses' activities.


A mixed-methods project was established comprising: (1) In-depth interviews with 15 home nurses and 8 medical specialists, and 2 focus groups with general practitioners; (2) Development and psychometric testing of a ‘24-hour recall instrument for home nursing’; (3) Quantitative measurement of the activities of 2478 home nurses; and (4) In-depth interviews with 12 home nurses, 12 healthcare assistants, and 8 managers of care.


(1) Technical activities are always performed in combination with more intellectual and psychosocial activities; (2) An instrument with 146 items, with a mean proportion of observed agreement of 0.94 and a mean kappa of 0.71; (3) The top 10 of activities performed is characterized by non-technical interventions; (4) Healthcare assistants can be an answer to the increased demand for care in home nursing.

Authors’ Affiliations

Wit-Gele Kruis van Vlaanderen, Brussels, Belgium
LUCAS, Leuven, Belgium
ACHG, Leuven, Belgium
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leuven, Belgium


© De Vliegher et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


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