What we do


Our work is science-based, practically relevant and impact-oriented. It follows an interdisciplinary and multiprofessional understanding of care processes. Concerning our scientific work we follow the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice of the German Research Foundation. As knowledge institute for care, the ZQP prepares care-related information relevant for non-professional carers and others. The ZQP information products are developed systematically in compliance with international standards for the preparation of health information. More information on the methodological standard of the ZQP (DE).

As non-profit foundation we bear special societal responsibility. It is our aim to work transparently. Thus, we commit, for example, to the Principles of Good Practice of the European Foundation Centre. The ZQP does not fund or support third party projects. We also do not collect donations.

Project partners

To achieve our goals we collaborate with practice, politics and science. We involve renowned scientists as well as representatives from consumer and self-help organisations, public spending bodies and service providers as well as professional associations and politics in our projects. Our project and cooperation partners are among others:

Selected projects

All projects of the ZQP focus on the quality of care and aim for improving nursing practice. The main topics of our project work are especially patient safety and prevention in care. Here you can find a selection of topics, projects and studies of the ZQP:

Prevention in care

In the context of long-term care prevention is particularly important. This does not only refer to the primary prevention of health problems that can cause the need of care or occur related to it. It belongs to the aims of prevention to slow down the progress of illnesses and dependence on care or regain a better health status. Further, another important goal of prevention is to protect the often considerably strained physical and mental health of family carers. Therefore, prevention is one of the main topics of the ZQP.

About 4.7 million people in Germany are caregiving relatives. Their situation has become more burdening during the COVID-19 crisis. Mental stress, the uncertainty of the situation, less support from healthcare providers and the challenge to combine care and work were problems many of them reported in a nationwide survey initiated by the ZQP and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

For this study, 1,000 caregiving relatives in home care settings were interviewed about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis in Germany. The online survey was carried out from April 21 to May 2, 2020, a period when the contact restrictions imposed in late March 2020 still applied in all the Federal States in Germany. The findings of this survey shed light on the far-reaching health, mental, social, and economic challenges facing informal caregivers of people with and without dementia due to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

This study is available in English.

Open Study Caregiving relatives in the COVID-19 crisis

In 2018, the ZQP has developed an open-access online portal with information related to the prevention of health problems in long-term care. Topics like physical exercise, nutrition, medication, hygiene and stress relief are covered.

To the portal Prävention in der Pflege (DE)

Not just adults but also adolescents regularly take on caring tasks in the family, for example preparing meals, helping to stand up or walk or assist with personal hygiene. These demands can be burdening for young carers. However, their situation has not received much public attention yet. Little is known about prevalence, manifestations and support needs.

To get an overview of this subject, the ZQP has surveyed young people aged 12 to 17 years in Germany in 2016. They were asked, for example, about their experiences with long-term care in their family, how they are experiencing the situation and what support services they would like to make use of.

This ZQP analysis is available in English.

Open Analysis Young Peoples´s Experiences with Care Dependency in the Family

The project TRADE (Transport and Delirium) aims at reducing the risk of delirious conditions of older persons over 70 years due to changes of their environment. The project is funded by the Innovation Committee of the Federal Joint Committee (Innovationsausschuss des Gemeinsamen Bundesausschusses, G-BA) from April 2019 to March 2022. The ZQP is responsible for the knowledge transfer of the project.

More about the project TRADE (DE)

Patient safety

In Germany, every patient is entitled to be protected from avoidable errors and health damages in the course of professional treatment and nursing care. In the fields of long-term care and especially ambulatory care in Germany, this area has hardly been examined scientifically. In practical care patient safety is often overlooked. Therefore, the ZQP has chosen this as one of its main topics to stimulate improvements in the patient safety in long-term care.

In 2018, the ZQP has conducted a perspectives workshop (Perspektivenwerkstatt) on patient safety in ambulatory care with renowned experts from science, practice and politics. Seven key areas of action have been identified in the process.

More on the results of the perspectives workshop (DE)

Family carers often commit a lot of time, patience and energy on the care for their relatives. Burdening conflicts can occur and lead to violence or elder mistreatment. The analysis from 2018 hints at experiences family carers have made with aggression, violence and elder mistreatment in the context of care. It was asked about violence and disease-related violent behaviour by the person in need of care against the carer as well as mistreatment the other way around.

This ZQP analysis is available in English.

Open analysis “Aggression, Violence and Elder Mistreatment in Informal care”

For more than 90 per cent of the older persons in need of care using medication is part of their everyday life. Many have been prescribed five or more medical compounds over a longer period. The ZQP has conducted a study in Germany among 1,000 family carers on their experiences with the use of medication.

This ZQP analysis is available in English.

Open analysis “Medication in Home Care from the Perspective of Caregiving Relatives”

Scientific publications

Here you can find some of the publications of the ZQP with English-language abstracts or in English:

  • Budnick, A., Hering, C., Eggert, S. et al. Informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic perceive additional burden: findings from an ad-hoc survey in Germany. BMC Health Serv Res 21, 353 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06359-7
  • Eggert, S., Wenzel, A., Suhr, R., Gellert, P., Dräger, D. (2020). Caregiving adult children’s perceptions of challenges relating to the end of life of their centenarian parents. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. doi.org/10.1111/scs.12921.
  • Moser F, Schütz L, Teubner C, Lahmann N, Kuhlmey A, Suhr R. Sexueller Missbrauch Pflegebedürftiger. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie & Geriatrie 2021. doi:10.1007/s00391-021-01841-7.
  • Suhr R, Habel J, Herzberg J, Lahmann NA (2020) Determinants of exhaustion of informal caregivers in homecare. Structural equation analysis of data of a multicenter study. Nurs Palliat Care 5: DOI: 10.15761/NPC.1000216.
  • Blüher, S., Wenzel, A., Eggert, S., Suhr, R., Dräger, D. (2019). Action-related resilience in people with longevity-sociological approach. Z Gerontol Geriat. doi:10.1007/s00391-019-01637-w.
  • Nordheim, J., Häusler, A., Yasar, S., Suhr, R., Kuhlmey, A., Rapp, M., Gellert, P. (2019). Psychosocial Intervention in Couples Coping with Dementia Led by a Psychotherapist and a Social Worker: The DYADEM Trial. J Alzheimers Dis. 68(2):745-755. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180812.
  • Ortiz, M., Schnabel, K., Binting, S., Fischer HF., Teut, M., Suhr, R., Brinkhaus, B. (2019). Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Nursing Homes: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in Residents and Caregivers. Complement Med Res. 29:1-12. doi: 10.1159/000500515.
  • Raeder, K., Strube-Lahmann, S., Müller-Werdan, U., Kottner, J., Lahmann, N., Suhr, R. (2019). Prevalence and influencing factors of chronic wounds among clients of home care services in Germany. Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 140:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2019.01.001.
  • Rommel, A., Kottner, J., Suhr, R., Lahmann, N. (2019). Frequency of falls among clients of home care services: The importance of care-related and social risk factors. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 52(1):3-9. doi: 10.1007/s00391-017-1215-5.
  • Schnitzer, S., Blüher, S., Teti, A., Schaeffner, E., Ebert, N., Martus, P., Suhr, R., Kuhlmey, A. (2019). Risk Profiles for Care Dependency: Cross-Sectional Findings of a Population-Based Cohort Study in Germany. J Aging Health. 2019 Jan 18:898264318822364. doi: 10.1177/0898264318822364.
  • Schütz, LH., Boronat-Garrido, X., Moser, FA., Suhr, R., Lahmann, N. (2019). Dementia-specific drug treatment in home care settings: A German multicentre study. J Clin Nurs. 28(5-6):862-869. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14682.
  • Suhr, R., Raeder, K., Kuntz, S., Strube-Lahmann, S., Latendorf, A., Klingelhöfer-Noe, J., Lahmann, N. (2019). Structure Parameters and Quality Outcomes of Ambulant Home-care. Gesundheitswesen. 81(8-09):590-598. doi: 10.1055/a-0600-2348.
  • Sulmann, D., Eggert, S., Kuhlmey, A., Suhr, R. (2019). Quality reporting in long-term care facilities-information requirements, search strategies, and information sources for persons in need of care and their family members. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 62(3):311-319. doi: 10.1007/s00103-019-02885-2.
  • Stöckigt, B., Suhr, R., Sulmann, D., Teut, M., Brinkhaus, B. (2019). Implementation of Intentional Touch for Geriatric Patients with Chronic Pain: A Qualitative Pilot Study. Complement Med Res. 26(3):195-205. doi: 10.1159/000496063.
  • Eggert, S., Kuhlmey, A., Suhr, R., Dräger, D. (2018). Centenarians preparing for the end of life? Z Gerontol Geriatr., 51(4):418-424. doi: 10.1007/s00391-017-1187-5.
  • Gellert, P., Häusler, A., Suhr, R., Gholami, M., Rapp, M., Kuhlmey, A., Nordheim, J. (2018). Testing the stress-buffering hypothesis of social support in couples coping with early-stage dementia. PLoS One. 13(1):e0189849. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189849.
  • Suhr, R., Lahmann, N. (2018). Urinary incontinence in home care: a representative multicenter study on prevalence, severity, impact on quality of life, and risk factors. Aging Clin Exp 30(6):589-594. doi: 10.1007/s40520-017-0816-6.
  • Strube-Lahmann, S., Suhr, R., Kuntz, S., Lahmann, N. (2018). Patient safety: The use of guidelines for dealing with multidrug resistant pathogens in outpatient care. Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 135-136:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2018.07.001.
  • Igl, G., Sulmann, D. (2017). 10-year anniversary of the Long-term Care Charter: Time to take stock. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 50(4):287-293. doi: 10.1007/s00391-017-1246-y.
  • Lahmann, N., Tannen, A., Suhr, R. (2016). Underweight and malnutrition in home care: A multicenter study. Clin Nutr. 35(5):1140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2015.09.008.
  • Teubner, C., Sulmann, D., Lahmann, N., Suhr, R. (2016). Needs-based offers and gender-specific aspects in nursing homes : Results of a representative survey among directors of nursing homes. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 49(8):692-699. doi: 10.1007/s00391-016-1148-4.
  • Kottner, J., Boronat, X., Blume-Peytavi, U., Lahmann, N., Suhr. (2015). The epidemiology of skin care provided by nurses at home: a multicentre prevalence study. J Adv Nurs. 71(3):570-80. doi: 10.1111/jan.12517.
  • Lahmann, N., Suhr, R., Kuntz, S., Kottner, J. (2015). Over- and undersupply in home care: a representative multicenter correlational study. Aging Clin Exp Res. 27(2):209-19. doi: 10.1007/s40520-014-0267-2.
  • Leiske, M., Lahmann, N., Lindena, G., Centmayer, R., Suhr, R. (2015). Patients with pain in outpatient care. A nationwide cross-sectional survey with path model. Schmerz. 29(4):431-9. doi: 10.1007/s00482-015-0001-9.
  • Nordheim, J., Hamm, S., Kuhlmey, A., Suhr, R. (2015). Tablet computers and their benefits for nursing home residents with dementia: Results of a qualitative pilot study. Z Gerontol Geriatr. 48(6):543-9. doi: 10.1007/s00391-014-0832-5. 
  • Möhler, R., Suhr, R., Meyer, G. (2014). Methods of patient involvement in the development of guidelines – a systematic review. Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 108(10):569-75. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2014.10.010.
  • Ortiz, M., Soom Ammann, E., Salis Gross, C., Schnabel, K., Walbaum, T., Binting, S., Fischer, HF., Teut, M., Kottner, J., Suhr, R., Brinkhaus, B. (2014). Complementary medicine in nursing homes -results of a mixed methods pilot study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 14:443. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-443.

Research database

This database provides an overview of age-related nursing care research in Germany and allows research on topics, methods, institutions, funders and results. Further, researchers can register research projects and administrate the entries.

More on the research database of the ZQP:

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