dr. N. (Nienke) Bleijenberg

Assistant Professor

  • Department of Public Health, Healthcare Innovation & Evaluation and Medical Humanities (PHM)

dr. N. (Nienke) Bleijenberg

Research Programs



Nienke Bleijenberg, RN, PhD, is an assistant professor Nursing Science at the University Medical Center Utrecht and a professor (In Dutch: Lector) at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands. She worked for many years as a district nurse in Utrecht with mostly geriatric patients living at home with high complex care needs. During her work it became apparent to her that scientific knowledge is needed in order to change and improve the care for older people and the gap between knowledge and practice. During her PhD study she developed a multicomponent proactive primary care program to enhance daily functioning of multimorbid, frail older people. In an ambitious randomized controlled trial, 52 primary care centers, over 3000 patients and more than 350 caregivers participated. Moreover, Dr. Bleijenberg developed a training program for the nurses in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. During her work as a PhD student Nienke completed the Post Graduate Master Epidemiology at Utrecht University. Since 2014 she works one-day a week at Leidsche Rijn Julius Health Care Centers to implement the care program and enhance clinical practice. Since 2012 she is involved as a teacher and coordinator at the master Clinical Health Sciences, Nursing Science (UU). Since 2014 she is a yearly visiting scholar at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Division of Geriatrics, working with Dr Kenneth Covinsky and Dr Alexander Smith.

Her current research program focuses on the preservation of daily functioning, prevention of acute events, and improving quality of care and patient outcomes of frail older people and those with multimorbidity living at home. Futhermore, she is focusing on the role, impact and patient outcomes of district nursing care. Nienke is a supervisor of 5 PhD students, receveid 11 grants (2.1M)  She has published over 30 international peer reviewed publications, 15 practice publications and contributed to three book publications.  Her knowledge extends to nursing, geriatrics in primary care, home care, and epidemiology

Nienke is a member of the National Association of Nurses, and a fellow of the European Association of Nursing Scientists. She is currently chair of the research group Care for Older people at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands


Side Activities

    • Visiting scholar University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Divison of Geriatrics and School of Nursing
    • Member of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Honor Society of Nursing, Rho Chi Chapter at large.
    • Member European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS).
    • Counselor for the Rho Chi Chapter at large, Nursing Science Utrecht and University Medical Center Utrecht.
    • Member European REFLECTION NETWORK for development and evaluation of complex interventions.

Fellowship and Awards

Research Output (32)

Examining the construct and known-group validity of a composite endpoint for the Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum Data Set (TOPICS-MDS); A largescale data sharing initiative

Hofman Cynthia S., Lutomski Jennifer E., Boter Han, Buurman Bianca M., De Craen Anton J M, Donders A Rogier T, Rikkert Marcel G M Olde, Makai Peter, Melis René J.F., Bleijenberg N., Blom J. W., Kempen G. I J M, Krabbe P. F M, Moll van Charante E.P., Muntinga M. E., Steyerberg Ewout W., Gussekloo J., van der Horst H.E., Olde Rikkert Marcel G M, de Rooij S.E.J.A., Schols Jos M. G. A., Schuurmans M. J., Smilde D. A., Van Den Brink D., Qin L., 1 mrt 2017, In: PLoS ONE [E]. 12

Implementatie van een proactief zorgprogramma voor kwetsbare ouderen in de huisartsenpraktijk:van onderzoek naar praktijk

Bleijenberg Nienke, de Jonge Artine, Brand Morris P, O'Flynn Caitriona, Schuurmans Marieke J, de Wit Niek J dec 2016, In: Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie. 47 , p. 234-248 15 p.

Fatigue as a long-term risk factor for limitations in instrumental activities of daily living and/or mobility performance in older adults after 10 years

Mueller-Schotte Sigrid, Bleijenberg Nienke, van der Schouw Yvonne T., Schuurmans Marieke J. 9 nov 2016, In: Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2016 , p. 1579-1587 9 p.

Is visual function associated with cognitive activity engagement in middle-aged and elderly individuals?:A cross-sectional study

Mueller-Schotte Sigrid, van der Schouw Yvonne T, Bleijenberg Nienke, Schuurmans Marieke J sep 2016, In: Experimental Gerontology. 82 , p. 104-111 8 p.

Effectiveness of a Proactive Primary Care Program on Preserving Daily Functioning of Older People: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Bleijenberg Nienke, Drubbel Irene, Schuurmans Marieke J., ten Dam Hester, Zuithoff Nicolaas P. A., Numans Mattijs E., de Wit Niek J. sep 2016, In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 64 , p. 1779-1788

Unravel the intervention components of proactive nurse-led care interventions for older persons

Smit L., Bleijenberg N., Schuurmans M. J. sep 2016, In: Journal of Advanced Nursing. 72 , p. 47-47

Is fatigue a long-term risk factor for IADL and/or mobility limitations 10 years later?

Muller-Schotte S., Bleijenberg N., van der Schouw Y., Schuurmans M. J. sep 2016, In: Journal of Advanced Nursing. 72 , p. 88-88

Refining the MRC framework development phase: towards successful complex interventions

Bleijenberg N., de Man-van Ginkel J. M., Trappenburg J. C. A., Ettema R. G. A., Sino C. G. M., Heim N., Hafsteindottir T. B., Richards D. A., Schuurmans M. J. sep 2016, In: Journal of Advanced Nursing. 72 , p. 46-46

Developing & evaluating complex interventions- evidence-based examples and improved methodology

Bleijenberg N., Ettema R. G. A., de Man-van Ginkel J. M., Korpershoek Y. J. G., Smit L., Verstraten C. J. M. M. sep 2016, In: Journal of Advanced Nursing. 72 , p. 46-46

Treatment Fidelity of an Evidence-Based Nurse-Led Intervention in a Proactive Primary Care Program for Older People

Bleijenberg Nienke, ten Dam Valerie H., Drubbel Irene, Numans Mattijs E., de Wit Niek J., Schuurmans Marieke J. 1 feb 2016, In: Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing. 13 , p. 75-84 10 p.

All Research Output (32)