What we do

Find out more about our work, partners and our projects.

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 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, 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 Philanthropy Europe Association. 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

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.


Care counselling has a high potential to contribute to health prevention among family caregivers. It can help to identify risk factors as well as appropriate preventive interventions. To this end, the ZQP provides the “Resilience and Strain Questionnaire for Caregivers” (RESQ-CARE), which can be used in the context of professional care counselling.

Informal care is associated with a multitude of different care tasks – from organisational responsibilities to directly providing care. It can be both physically and psychologically demanding and stressful, especially when caring for a person living with dementia.

However, family caregivers differ in how they deal with care-related stressors. While some suffer from stress and become ill themselves, others manage to maintain their health and well-being despite the care situation.

The RESQ-CARE working material serves professional care counsellors to assess individual resilience factors and stress factors in family caregivers and to provide support options if needed. It is a translated and editorially adapted version of the German-language working material on the questionnaire “Fragebogen zur Angehörigen-Resilienz und -Belastung” (FARBE), 2nd edition. The English working material includes the questionnaire for family caregivers (RESQ-CARE), an Excel file for evaluating and graphically presenting the results and a manual with information on the theoretical foundations and application of the questionnaire. The instrument and the materials were developed by the ZQP and the Zentrale Forschungseinheit für psychische Gesundheit im Alter (ZpGA, Central Research Unit for Mental Health in Old Age), University Medical Center Mainz.

Open RESQ-CARE manual
Open RESQ-CARE questionnaire
Open RESQ-CARE evaluation sheet (Excel file)

More information and material on FARBE (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:

  • Garay, S., Haeger, M., Kühnlein, L., Sulmann, D., & Suhr, R. (2023). Interventions to enhance safety culture for nursing professionals in long-term care: a systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 5, Article 100119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnsa.2023.100119
  • Budnick, A., Hering, C., Eggert, S., Teubner, C., Suhr, R., Kuhlmey, A., & Gellert, P. (2021). Informal caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic perceive additional burden: findings from an ad-hoc survey in Germany. BMC Health Services Research, 21, Article 353. 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, 35(4), 1086-1095. https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.12921
  • Moser, F., Schütz, L., Teubner, C., Lahmann, N., Kuhlmey, A., & Suhr, R. (2021). Sexueller Missbrauch Pflegebedürftiger. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 55, 223-230. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-021-01841-7
  • Blüher, S., Wenzel, A., Eggert, S., Suhr, R., & Dräger, D. (2019). Action-related resilience in people with longevity-sociological approach. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 53(6), 552-557. https://doi.org/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. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 68(2), 745-755. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-180812
  • Ortiz, M., Schnabel, K., Binting, S., Fischer H. F., Teut, M., Suhr, R., & Brinkhaus, B. (2019). Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Nursing Homes: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study in Residents and Caregivers. Complementary Medicine Research, 26(5), 310-321. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, 140, 14-21. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 52(1), 3-9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-017-1215-5
  • Schnitzer, S., Blüher, S., Teti, A., Schaeffner, E., Ebert, N., Martus, P., . . . Kuhlmey, A. (2019). Risk Profiles for Care Dependency: Cross-Sectional Findings of a Population-Based Cohort Study in Germany. Journal of Aging and Health, 18, Article 898264318822364. https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264318822364
  • Schütz, L. H., Boronat-Garrido, X., Moser, F. A., Suhr, R., & Lahmann, N. (2019). Dementia-specific drug treatment in home care settings: A German multicentre study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(5-6), 862-869. https://doi.org/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(8-9), 590-598. https://doi.org/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. https://doi.org/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. Complementary Medicone Research, 26(3), 195-205. https://doi.org/10.1159/000496063
  • Eggert, S., Kuhlmey, A., Suhr, R., & Dräger, D. (2018). Centenarians preparing for the end of life? Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 51(4), 418-424. https://doi.org/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), Article e0189849. https://doi.org/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 Clinical and Experimental Research, 30(6), 589-594. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, 135-136, 27-33. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 50(4), 287-293. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-017-1246-y
  • Lahmann, N., Tannen, A., & Suhr, R. (2016). Underweight and malnutrition in home care: A multicenter study. Clinical Nutrition, 35(5), 1140-1146. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 49(8), 692-699. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-016-1148-4
  • Kottner, J., Boronat, X., Blume-Peytavi, U., Lahmann, N., & Suhr, R. (2015). The epidemiology of skin care provided by nurses at home: a multicentre prevalence study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(3), 570-80. https://doi.org/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 Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(2), 209-19. https://doi.org/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), 431-439. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 48(6), 543-549. https://doi.org/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. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, 108(10), 569-575. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.zefq.2014.10.010
  • Ortiz, M., Soom Ammann, E., Salis Gross, C., Schnabel, K., Walbaum, T., Binting, S., . . . Brinkhaus, B. (2014). Complementary medicine in nursing homes -results of a mixed methods pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14, Article 443. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-443