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Research group/lab

Nursing Science

Nursing Science aims at strengthening the quality and effectiveness of nursing care in a multidisciplinary context.

About our research group/lab

Our research

In 2017, the Board of Directors of Erasmus MC established a new professorship in Nursing Science, and appointed Dr. Monique van Dijk in this position. The section of Nursing Science is organizationally placed within the department of Internal Medicine. The section initially went ahead with professor Monique van Dijk and part-time postdoc Dr. Erwin Ista, an expert in implementation science. Gradually we developed several research lines focusing on nursing and the nursing profession in a broad sense. Our areas of interest include basic nursing care, technology to facilitate nurses’ work processes, implementation science and non-pharmacological interventions. In 2019, Dr. Marianne van der Heijden joined the team as a postdoc. She is a medical anthropologist specialized in research and education of non-pharmacological interventions. In 2017, the Board of Directors of Erasmus MC provided funding to study the effects for nurses and patients of the transition to a hospital with 100% single patient rooms. Some special interests were patients’ sleep quality, experiences with rooming-in and impact on nurses’ work processes.

We proudly present our yearbooks (only available in Dutch):

Our projects


This uncontrolled before-after study aimed to study whether relocation to a 100% single patient room hospital had an effect on patient outcomes (e.g. sleep quality, fall incidence, rooming-in, perceptions, mobility) and nurses’ outcomes (e.g. walking distances, work processes, perceptions, sense of safety). Before and 6 months after the move, the same outcome data were collected through questionnaires, observations and data from the electronic patient files.  Data analyses are being performed and results will be published in the coming years.


  • INES 

Non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) such as massage, breathing exercises and music interventions can be safe and effective in alleviating pain, reducing anxiety, and improving comfort and sleep. Evidence-based NPIs in combination with pharmacological treatments are part of what is called Integrative Nursing (IN).
There is need to include NPIs/IN in the education curriculum for nurses. Patients use NPIs and nurses should be able to communicate with their patients about their health seeking behaviour and self-management. Moreover, there is ample scientific evidence for certain NPIs. Nurses should be able to use this latest scientific evidence in their daily practice and know when NPIs can be harmful for a patient.
In this project we aim to develop the Integrative Nursing Education Series (INES), education for nursing students (Bachelor). The objectives are to strengthen European nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, competencies and skills on evidence-based and safe non-pharmacological interventions and its integration in patient care in all relevant health care settings. This project is funded by the European Union and a collaboration between the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), van Praag Institute (Utrecht, the Netherlands), VIA University Colleges (Horssens, Denmark), University of Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland) and Karolinska University (Stockholm, Sweden).


  • DIMPLE study - De-IMPLEmentation of low-value care in home care nursing

Low-value care is a waste of resources and caregivers’ time – and may cause harm to patients. Examples of low-value care mentioned by home care nurses are ‘performing daily full body wash and standard use of water and soap’ and ‘daily bandaging of legs and putting on compression stockings’. Sustainable de-implementation of low-value nursing care  is difficult as it often requires giving up routines.

The overall aim of this research project is to de-implement of low-value nursing care  interventions in home care, using a tailored strategy.

Researchers and implementation experts from Erasmus MC, LUMC, UMC Utrecht and the Academic Clinical Partnership Home Care Nursing (Utrecht), in collaboration with home care nurses,  will carry out this study.

In the first part of the study, we will identify which unnecessary nursing interventions home care nurses perform in daily practice. Then in (focus group) interviews with home care nurses and clients, and a survey among nurses we will identify the barriers and facilitators  for de-implementation of low-value nursing care interventions. During the second phase of the study, a tailored de-implementation strategy will be developed that facilitates home care nurses to stop unnecessary care. In the final phase of the study, the tailored de-implementation strategy to reduce the use of low-value nursing care interventions in home care will be evaluated in a controlled before-after study.

This study is funded by ZonMW

Key Publications

  • Spoon, D., T. Rietbergen, A. Huis, M. Heinen, M. van Dijk, L. van Bodegom-Vos and E. Ista (2020). "Implementation strategies used to implement nursing guidelines in daily practice: A systematic review." Int J Nurs Stud 111: 103748.
  • Ista, E., B. R. Scholefield, J. C. Manning, I. Harth, O. Gawronski, A. Bartkowska-Sniatkowska, A. S. Ramelet, S. R. Kudchadkar and E. P.-P. Collaborators (2020). "Mobilization practices in critically ill children: a European point prevalence study (EU PARK-PICU)." Crit Care 24(1): 368.
  • Trogrlic Z, van der Jagt M, Lingsma H, et al. Improved Guideline Adherence and Reduced Brain Dysfunction After a Multicenter Multifaceted Implementation of ICU Delirium Guidelines in 3,930 Patients. Crit Care Med. 2019;47(3):419-427
  • Ista E, van Beusekom B, van Rosmalen J, et al. Validation of the SOS-PD scale for assessment of pediatric delirium: a multicenter study. Crit Care. 2018;22(1):309.
  • Ista, E., B. van der Hoven, R. F. Kornelisse, C. van der Starre, M. C. Vos, E. Boersma and O. K. Helder (2016). "Effectiveness of insertion and maintenance bundles to prevent central-line-associated bloodstream infections in critically ill patients of all ages: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Lancet Infect Dis 16(6): 724-734.
  • Harris, J., A. S. Ramelet, M. van Dijk, P. Pokorna, J. Wielenga, L. Tume, D. Tibboel and E. Ista (2016). "Clinical recommendations for pain, sedation, withdrawal and delirium assessment in critically ill infants and children: an ESPNIC position statement for healthcare professionals." Intensive Care Med 42(6): 972-986.
  • Van der Heijden, M.J.E., Jeekel, J., Rode, H., Cox, S., van Rosmalen, J., Hunink, M.G.M., van Dijk, M. (2018). “Can live music therapy reduce distress and pain in children with burns after wound care procedures? A randomized controlled trial.” Burns 44(4):823-833
  • Van der Heijden, M.J.E., Oliai Araghi, S., Jeekel, J., Reiss, I.K., Hunink, M.G.M., van Dijk, M. (2016). “Do hospitalized premature infants benefit from music interventions? A systematic review of randomized controlled trials”. PLoSOne 8;11(9):e0161848
  • Van der Heijden, M.J.E., Mevius, H., van der Heide, N., van Rosmalen, J., van As, S., van Dijk, M. (2019). “Children listening to music or watching cartoons during ER procedures: a RCT”. J. Pediatr Psychology 1;44(10):1150-1162
  • Van der Heijden, M.J.E., de Jong, A., Rode, H., Martinez, R., van Dijk, M. (2018) “Assessing and addressing the problem of pain and distress during wound care procedures in paediatric patients with burns”. Burns 44(1):175-182

Our team