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Time distribution of selected care activities in home care in Germany


  • Sabine Bartholomeyczik PhD, RN, Dipl Soz,

  • Dirk Hunstein RN, Dipl Pflegewirt

Sabine Bartholomeyczik
Witten/Herdecke University Institute for Science in Nursing Stockumer Str. 12 D-58453 Witten
Telephone: 0049 (0) 2302/669 147


Aims and objectives.  To investigate the time required by family caregivers to carry out selected care activities. The project was initiated by the responsible ministry for German Long Term Care Insurance. The Long Term Care Insurance provides recommendations for specific time ranges for care activities as a basis for assessment.

Methods.  Cross-sectional descriptive study, convenience sample of 200 households. Time was measured during direct observation using a stopwatch (time-and-motion method).

Results.  The time taken for care activities had large standard deviations. For many activities, <50% of the cases fell in the recommended time range. No significant influences on the different durations were found.

Conclusions.  The results give no support for the assumption that recommended time ranges can enhance assessment comparability and adequacy.

Relevance to clinical practice.  In order to predict the amount of work in nursing it is more important to assess the patient's situation and history, and the goal to be reached by nursing care than to know the title of the required nursing intervention.