Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 2024

Treatment and Care for Nursing Home Residents with COVID-19: A Qualitative Study


Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) placed a significant strain on nursing homes, leading to numerous outbreaks and high mortality rates. This situation created considerable stress and challenges for residents, their physicians and nurses, as well as family caregivers. By understanding these challenges, we can gain new insights and learn valuable lessons. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the treatment and care provided to nursing home residents with COVID-19, as experienced by physicians, nurses, and family caregivers.

Participants and Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of 35 interviews with physicians, nurses, and family caregivers, each with personal experience caring for nursing home residents diagnosed with COVID-19. The interviews took place from December 2020 to April 2021. We analyzed the transcriptions based on Braun and Clarke’s reflexive thematic analysis model and followed a qualitative descriptive design as outlined by Sandelowski.

Findings: The analysis produced three themes: 1) Balancing medical treatment, 2) The need for increased systematic monitoring of vital functions, and 3) Determining the treatment level for nursing home residents. These themes were explored through the unique perspectives of the three participant groups: physicians, nurses, and family caregivers. The findings revealed several challenges related to treatment and care for nursing home residents diagnosed with COVID-19. This applied both to relief of symptoms, monitoring of vital functions, assessment of treatment level and use of advance care planning.

Conclusion: Drawing from the experiences of physicians, nurses, and family caregivers, there should be a unified plan at the municipal or national level for competency development in nursing homes to prepare for future crises like pandemics or epidemics. Additionally, the safe engagement of family caregivers and relatives should be given priority.


Anita Nilsen, Siren Eriksen, Bjørn Lichtwarck, Adelheid Hummelvoll Hillestad, Signe Gunn Julnes, Signe Tretteteig & Anne Marie Mork Rokstad

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