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J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(7): 900-904, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-598614

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To prevent and control COVID-19 infections, nursing homes across the world have taken very restrictive measures, including a ban for visitors. These restrictive measures have an enormous impact on residents' well-being and pose dilemmas for staff, although primary data are lacking. A Dutch guideline was developed to cautiously open nursing homes for visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports the first findings on how the guideline was applied in the local context; the compliance to local protocols; and the impact on well-being of residents, their family caregivers, and staff. DESIGN: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: In total, 26 nursing homes were permitted to enlarge their possibilities for allowing visitors in their facility. These nursing homes were proportionally representative of the Netherlands as they were selected by their local Area Health Authority for participation. At each nursing home, a contact person was selected for participation in the current study. METHODS: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted, consisting of questionnaire, telephone interviews, analyses of documentation (ie, local visiting protocols), and a WhatsApp group. RESULTS: Variation in local protocols was observed, for example, related to the use of personal protective equipment, location, and supervision of visits. In general, experiences were very positive. All nursing homes recognized the added value of real and personal contact between residents and their loved ones and indicated a positive impact on well-being. Compliance with local guidelines was sufficient to good. No new COVID-19 infections were reported during this time. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These results indicate the value of family visitation in nursing homes and positive impact of visits. Based on these results, the Dutch government has decided to allow all nursing homes in the Netherlands to cautiously open their homes using the guidelines. More research is needed on impact and long-term compliance.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Infection Control/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Visitors to Patients/legislation & jurisprudence , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Geriatric Assessment , Guideline Adherence , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Humans , Male , Netherlands , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
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