Telehealth and telecommunication in nursing homes during COVID-19 anti-epidemic measures in The Netherlands

R. Leontjevas, I.A.H. Knippenberg, Christian Bakker, Raymond T.C.M. Koopmans, Debby L. Gerritsen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Our study on challenging behavior in nursing home residents in The Netherlands showed initiatives of nursing home staff regarding telecare during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. Staff facilitated telecommunication to help residents in staying connected with their loved ones during the visitor ban. To improve the quality of nursing home care in the future, it is important to learn from these experiences. This survey during the second pandemic wave at the end of 2020 aimed to learn, from the perspective of treatment staff, about experiences with telecommunication during the COVID-19 pandemic, telecare for challenging behavior, and working remotely.

In total, 175 professionals participated, of whom 69 (39%) were psychologists, 61 (35%) therapeutic activities coordinators, 38 (22%) elderly care physicians or nurse practitioners and 7 other professionals. Responses to open and closed questions showed that face-to-face contacts were preferred above telecommunication. However, most professionals would prefer the continuation of telecommunication for residents and their loved ones after the pandemic in addition to face-to-face contacts.

Regarding the management of challenging behavior, psychologists, physicians and nurse practitioners considered it possible to continue several tasks remotely, e.g. consultations, evaluations, and meetings and mutual consultations. The majority of activities coordinators reported that they could not work remotely.

In general, working remotely was considered efficient and workload-reducing. However, participants thought that it could worsen their job satisfaction, and the quality of care. The need for more technical support was expressed.

To conclude, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the move to telecare in nursing homes. It is important to provide a solid infrastructure, to educate and train the staff and residents regarding telecommunication, and to integrate telecare elements in daily workflows. Research is needed on the effects of telecare on job related outcomes, and on the quality of care and the quality of life of residents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2021
Event31st Alzheimer Europe Online Congress 2021 - Online, Luxembourg
Duration: 29 Nov 20211 Dec 2021
Conference number: 31


Conference31st Alzheimer Europe Online Congress 2021
Internet address


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