Publication date

Practice variation among home care nurses.

Brabers, A.E.M., Groot, K. de, Groenewegen, P.P. Practice variation among home care nurses. Primary Health Care Research and Development: 2019, 20(e136), p. 1-2.
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In the Netherlands, but in the past also in England, there is a debate about the differences in needs assessment by home care nurses. Such variation is often regarded as unwarranted by policy makers and funders of health care, and as such, they often aim at reducing variation.

Recommendation for examination
However, practice variation can be the result of several mechanisms and can also be a sign of patient-centred care. As little is known about this topic among home care nurses, the authors recommend to first examine the causes of practice variation in needs assessment before policy will be made aimed at reducing practice variation. Only thereafter, it can be determined whether practice variation is warranted or not, and in which way the part that is unwarranted can be reduced. Internationally, there is hardly empirical research to build on. It would be good if the research community takes up the challenges of conducting theory-guided empirical research regarding variation within nursing practice.