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  • Bielefeld School of Public Health

    AG 6 Department of Health Services Research and Nursing Science

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

BGM Pflege International – Workplace health management in long-term care institutions


06/2022 until 05/2024

Project management and coordination

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Hämel

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Gerlinger

Prof. Dr. Susanne Kümpers (Fulda University of Applied Sciences)

Project staff

Caspar Lückenbach

Marcus Heumann

Leonie Austel (student assistant until end of September 2023)

Antonia Kössendrup (student assistant)

Valeria Schellenberg (student assistant)

Jonathan Solms (student assistant)

Cooperation partners:

Christoph Heigl, MPH, Austrian health insurcance fund (ÖGK), Austrian Network Workplace Health Promotion

Dr. Kai Leichsenring, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, Austria

Prof. Dr. Lotta Dellve, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Katrin Skagert, PhD, The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), Unit Production and Work Environment, Gothenburg, Sweden

Prof. Dr. Henk Nies, Vilans, Department of Organization Sciences (VU), Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Angelique E. de Rijk, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Project funding


Association of Substitute Health Funds e. V. (vdek)


Das Forschungsprojekt wird unterstützt im Rahmen des Angebots MEHRWERT:PFLEGE.

Project background

The development of health-promoting working environments is an important field of action for health policy in which workplace health management is a key implementation strategy.

Anchoring workplace health management in a sustainable way is particularly required for long-term care. The care and support of those in need of long-term care is fundamentally a highly meaningful activity. At the same time, working conditions in long-term care, especially in nursing homes, are characterised by high physical and mental burden. In addition to this, employees perceive an increasing workload and often sense that they are not able to provide what they consider to be 'optimal' - and thus meaningful and fulfilling - care.

In Germany, with a few exceptions, the discussions and research on promising strategies for workplace health management (WHM) in long-term care institutions remain confined to a national perspective; hardly any attention has been paid to developments abroad. However, the practice of WHM in other countries can provide interesting and inspiring ideas for improving practices in Germany.


In this project, good practices of workplace health management (WHM) in long-term care institutions are identified and analysed for three countries that have launched comprehensive approaches – Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden; possibilities for transferring them to the situation in Germany are identified.

This is done in detail by

  1. examine the establishment, structures and organisation of WHM in the health systems of Austria, Netherlands, and Sweden (including the understanding of WHM, the responsibilities and the range of offers);
  2. identifying good practice examples and concepts of WHM in long-term care institutions aimed at the entire staff or at particular professional groups;
  3. analysing promoting and inhibiting conditions in the conception and implementation of WHM in long-term care institutions with a focus on organisational development and setting-based prevention;
  4. investigating the possibilities of transferring or adapting these approaches or components to the conditions in Germany, and
  5. developing recommendations for the advancement of the MEHRWERT:PFLEGE (vdek) offer.


  • Literature/document analysis on conditions for WHM in Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
  • Interviews with key informants who have general knowledge about structures and strategic orientation of WHM in long-term care institutions at national level and who have a very good overview over current developments in the field.
  • On-site visits (participatory observations), guided expert interviews and group discussions with WHM participants in Austria, Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Case/project-related analyses to identify good practices.
  • Cross-sectional analyses with the aim of identifying facilitating and inhibiting drivers of WHM implementation.


  • Lückenbach, C., Heumann, M., Gerlinger, T., Kümpers, S., & Hämel, K. (2023). BGM Pflege International - Betriebliches Gesundheitsmanagement in stationären Pflegeeinrichtungen in Österreich, den Niederlanden und Schweden - ein Zwischenbericht. Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
  • Toso, B., Horewicz, V. Bula, D., Heumann, M., Hämel, K., Rodrigues, R., Rizzotto, M. L., Giovanella, L., & Engstrom, E. (2023). Implementation of advanced practice nursing in primary health care in Brazil. Population Medicine, 5(Supplement), A1721.
  • Hämel, K., Heumann, M., Toso, B., Bula, D., Engstrom, E., Rizzotto, M. L. F., & Giovanella, L. (2023). Strengthening advanced pratice nursing and collaboration in PHC in Brazil and Germany. Population Medicine, 5(Supplement), A1754.

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