The objective of the study was to determine whether community nurses in the Netherlands improve self-management abilities and quality of life of frail community-dwelling people. This longitudinal study was performed in the context of a larger evaluation study of the 'Zichtbare Schakels'(Visible Link) programme, conducted to determine the quality of care provided by community nurses to community-dwelling frail people in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For the current study, clients seen by community workers in Rotterdam between July 2013 and November 2014 participated. Data were gathered via personal interviews by the community nurses as part of care delivery at the start (T0; n = 220) and end of care delivery (T1; n = 111 - the remaining 109 clients were still receiving care) to evaluate and improve quality of care. We measured client's quality of life (using the EQ5D), self-management abilities (using the Self-Management Ability Scale) and background characteristics. Results showed that clients seen by the community nurses especially experience problems when it comes to usual activities and pain/discomfort. Furthermore, quality of life was much worse among clients of the community nurses (0.51) than among frail older (aged ≥70 years) people in Rotterdam (0.61), Dutch patients with chronic illnesses [CVD (0.83), COPD (0.79) or diabetes (0.83)] and older (aged ≥65 years) people who had recently been hospitalised (0.80). Significant improvements were seen in client's self-management and quality of life over time. Self-management abilities at T0 and changes in self-management abilities (T1 - T0) clearly predicted quality of life at T1. Investing in community health nurses may be beneficial for the improvement of self-management abilities and quality of life among very frail people in the community.

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Health and Social Care in the Community
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Cramm, J., & Nieboer, A. (2016). Self-management abilities and quality of life among frail community-dwelling individuals: The role of community nurses in the Netherlands. Health and Social Care in the Community. doi:10.1111/hsc.12318