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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Care Without Rules (Zorg Zonder Regels)

Principal researchers

Dr Louise Meijering , dr. Mirjam Klaassens and prof. Inge



Summary of the project

Since healthcare institutions are bound to care plans, rules and regulations in order to control the quality of care, an increasing amount of time is spend by health workers on administrative tasks, whereas the older people become less central in their work.

A health care institution in the North of the Netherlands, started with an experiment, Care Without Rules (Zorg Zonder Regels) in which certain rules, which are experienced as superfluous and hindering, will be reduced and/or abandoned on three participating wards. It is expected that this will result in more time being spent on the residents, which eventually will improve their quality of life.

The aim of our research was to gain insight into the actual wishes and needs of the clients, so time can be spend in human attention, in order to increase the residents’ experienced well-being. A participatory approach has been adopted to achieve this aim. Different stakeholders, such as clients, their family members, staff members, management at the level of both the wards and the institution as a whole, as well as an insurance company, and inspection service, are included in the process.

Another aim of our research was to monitor and document the whole project when it evolves, to evaluate the experiment, in order to apply it successfully on other wards or health care institutions as well. The project has been extended to several other wards in the institution.


  • Klaassens, M. & Meijering, L. (2015) Experiences of home and institution in a secured nursing home ward in the Netherlands: a participatory intervention study. Journal of Aging Studies 34(3): 92-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.002.
  • Klaassens, M., L. Meijering & I. Hutter (2012) De participatieve benadering in de ouderenzorg: Zorg Zonder Regels in De Hoven [In Dutch]. Groningen: Population Research Center (PRC), Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
  • Klaassens, M. & L. Meijering (2012) The search for home within a healthcare institution. A participatory approach. Paper presented at the IBG/RGS Conference, Edinburgh, 3-5 July 2012
Last modified:14 September 2018 10.59 a.m.