Low-value home-based nursing care: A national survey study

Benjamin Wendt*, Milou Cremers, Erwin Ista, Monique van Dijk, Lisette Schoonhoven, Minke S. Nieuwboer, Hester Vermeulen, Simone A. Van Dulmen, Getty Huisman-de Waal

*Corresponding author for this work

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To explore potential areas of low-value home-based nursing care practices, their prevalence and related influencing factors of nurses and nursing assistants working in home-based nursing care. Design: A quantitative, cross-sectional design. 


An online survey with questions containing scaled frequencies on five-point Likert scales and open questions on possible related influencing factors of low-value nursing care. The data collection took place from February to April 2022. Descriptive statistics and linear regression were used to summarize and analyse the results. 


A nationwide sample of 776 certified nursing assistants, registered nurses and nurse practitioners responded to the survey. The top five most delivered low-value care practices reported were: (1) ‘washing the client with water and soap by default’, (2) ‘application of zinc cream, powders or pastes when treating intertrigo’, (3) ‘washing the client from head to toe daily’, (4) ‘re-use of a urinary catheter bag after removal/disconnection’ and (5) ‘bladder irrigation to prevent clogging of urinary tract catheter’. The top five related influencing factors reported were: (1) ‘a (general) practitioner advices/prescribes it’, (2) ‘written in the client's care plan’, (3) ‘client asks for it’, (4) ‘wanting to offer the client something’ and (5) ‘it is always done like this in the team’. Higher educational levels and an age above 40 years were associated with a lower provision of low-value care. 


According to registered nurses and certified nursing assistants, a number of low-value nursing practices occurred frequently in home-based nursing care and they experienced multiple factors that influence the provision of low-value care such as (lack of) clinical autonomy and handling clients' requests, preferences and demands. The results can be used to serve as a starting point for a multifaceted de-implementation strategy. Reporting Method: STROBE checklist for cross-sectional studies. Patient or Public Contribution: No Patient or Public Contribution. Implications for the Profession and/or Patient Care: Nursing care is increasingly shifting towards the home environment. Not all nursing care that is provided is effective or efficient and this type of care can therefore be considered of low-value. Reducing low-value care and increasing appropriate care will free up time, improve quality of care, work satisfaction, patient safety and contribute to a more sustainable healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1891-1901
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number5
Early online date20 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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