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)

Trends in risk of limitations in instrumental activities of daily living over age in older persons with and without multiple chronic conditions

Mueller-Schotte Sigrid, Zuithoff Nicolaas P A, van der Schouw Yvonne T, Schuurmans Marieke J, Bleijenberg Nienke 17 feb 2019, In: Journals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 75 , p. 197-203 7 p.

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of proactive and multidisciplinary integrated care for older people with complex problems in general practice: an individual participant data meta-analysis

Blom J. W., Van den Hout W. B., Den Elzen W. P. J., Drewes Y. M., Bleijenberg N., Fabbricotti I. N., Jansen A. P. D., Kempen G. I. J. M., Koopmans R., Looman W. M., Melis R. J. F., Metzelthin S. F., van Charante E. P. Moll, Muntinga M. E., Numans M. E., Ruikes F. G. H., Spoorenberg S. L. W., Stijnen T., Suijker J. J., De Wit N. J., Wynia K., Wind A. W., Gussekloo J. sep 2018, In: Age and Ageing. 47 , p. 705-714

Trajectories of Limitations in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living in Frail Older Adults With Vision, Hearing, or Dual Sensory Loss

Mueller-Schotte Sigrid, Zuithoff Nicolaas P.A., van der Schouw Yvonne T., Schuurmans Marieke J., Bleijenberg Nienke 30 jun 2018, In: Journals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 74 , p. 936-942 7 p.

Unravelling complex primary-care programs to maintain independent living in older people:a systematic overview

Smit Linda C., Schuurmans Marieke J., Blom Jeanet W., Fabbricotti Isabelle N., Jansen Aaltje P.D., Kempen Gertrudis I.J.M., Koopmans Raymond, Looman Willemijn M., Melis Rene J.F., Metzelthin Silke F., Moll van Charante Eric P., Muntinga Maaike E., Ruikes Franca G.H., Spoorenberg Sophie L.W., Suijker Jacqueline J., Wynia Klaske, Gussekloo Jacobijn, De Wit Niek J., Bleijenberg Nienke 1 apr 2018, In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 96 , p. 110-119 10 p.

Increasing value and reducing waste by optimizing the development of complex interventions:Enriching the development phase of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework

Bleijenberg Nienke, de Man-van Ginkel Janneke M, Trappenburg Jaap C A, Ettema Roelof G A, Sino Carolien G, Heim Noor, Hafsteindóttir Thóra B, Richards David A, Schuurmans Marieke J 1 feb 2018, In: International Journal of Nursing Studies. 79 , p. 86-93 8 p.

The Effectiveness of a Proactive Multicomponent Intervention Program on Disability in Independently Living Older People:A Randomized Controlled Trial

van Lieshout M R J, Bleijenberg N, Schuurmans M J, de Wit N J 2018, In: The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. 22 , p. 1051-1059 9 p.

Disability in the individual ADL, IADL, and mobility among older adults:A prospective cohort study

Bleijenberg Nienke, Zuithoff NPA, Smith A. K., de Wit N. J., Schuurmans M. J. okt 2017, In: The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. 21 , p. 897-903 8 p.

Cost-Effectiveness of a Proactive Primary Care Program for Frail Older People:A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Bleijenberg Nienke, Drubbel Irene, Neslo Rabin Ej, Schuurmans Marieke J, ten Dam Valerie H., Numans Mattijs E., de Wit G Ardine, de Wit Niek J 8 aug 2017, In: Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 18 , p. 1029-1036 8 p.

Patient Characteristics Associated With a Successful Response to Nurse-Led Care Programs Targeting the Oldest-Old:A Comparison of Two RCTs

Bleijenberg Nienke, Imhof Lorenz, Mahrer-Imhof Romy, Wallhagen Margaret I., de Wit Niek J., Schuurmans Marieke J. 1 jun 2017, In: Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing. 14 , p. 210-222 13 p.

Measurement properties of the EQ-5D across four major geriatric conditions:Findings from TOPICS-MDS

Lutomski Jennifer E., Krabbe Paul F M, Bleijenberg N., Blom Jeanett, Kempen Gertrudis I J M, MacNeil-Vroomen Janet, Muntinga Maaike E., Steyerburg Ewout, Olde Rikkert Marcel G M, Melis René J.F., Bleijenberg N., Blom J. W., Melis R.J.F., Muntinga M. E., Steyerberg Ewout W., Gussekloo J., Olde Rikkert Marcel G M, van den Brink D., Lutomski J.E., Qin L., Kempen G. I.J.M., Krabbe P. F M, Buurman B.M., van der Horst H.E., de Rooij S.E.J.A., Schols Jos M. G. A., Schuurmans M. J., Smilde D. A., 3 mrt 2017, In: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes [E]. 15

All Research Output (32)