Work environment characteristics associated with quality of care in Dutch nursing homes: A cross-sectional study

Ramona Backhaus*, Erik van Rossum, Hilde Verbeek, Ruud J. G. Halfens, Frans E. S. Tan, Elizabeth Capezuti, Jan P. H. Hamers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

165 Downloads (Pure)


Background: A lack of relationship between direct care staffing levels and quality of care, as found in prior studies, underscores the importance of considering the quality of the work environment instead of only considering staff ratios. Only a few studies, however, have combined direct care staffing with work environment characteristics when assessing the relationship with quality of care in nursing homes. Objectives: To examine the relationship between direct care staffing levels, work environment characteristics and perceived quality of care in Dutch nursing homes.

Design: Cross-sectional, observational study in cooperation with the Dutch Prevalence Measurement of Care Problems.

Settings: Twenty-four somatic and 31 psychogeriatric wards from 21 nursing homes in the Netherlands. Participants: Forty-one ward managers and 274 staff members (registered nurses or certified nurse assistants) from the 55 participating wards.

Methods: Ward rosters were discussed with managers to obtain an insight into direct care staffing levels (i.e, total direct care staff hours per resident per day). Participating staff members completed a questionnaire on work environment characteristics (i.e., ward culture, team climate, communication and coordination, role model availability, and multidisciplinary collaboration) and they rated the quality of care in their ward.

Data were analyzed using multilevel linear regression analyses (random intercept). Separate analyses were conducted for somatic and psychogeriatric wards.

Results: In general, staff members were satisfied with the quality of care in their wards. Staff members from psychogeriatric wards scored higher on the statement 'In the event that a family member had to be admitted to a nursing home now, I would recommend this ward'. A better team climate was related to better perceived quality of care in both ward types (p

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that team climate may be an important factor to consider when trying to improve quality of care. Generating more evidence on which work environment characteristics actually lead to better quality of care is needed. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Quality
  • Nursing homes
  • Staffing
  • Team work
  • Work environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Work environment characteristics associated with quality of care in Dutch nursing homes: A cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this