Home-based primary care, nurse practitioner, systematic review



  1. Sun, Chun-An MPhil, RN


Background: With rapidly growing numbers of homebound older adults, the need for effective home-based health interventions is increasingly recognized. Advanced practice registered nurses (NPs) are one of the most common providers of home-based primary care. Limited information is available to address the scope and nature of NP-led home-based primary care and associated outcomes.


Objective: To synthesize research evidence of NP visits in home-based primary care.


Data Sources: Six electronic databases-PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, and Scopus-were searched to identify peer-reviewed research articles addressing home-based primary care interventions led by NPs. Independent screening resulted in 17 relevant articles from 14 unique studies to include in the review.


Conclusions: Nurse practitioners provided health assessments, education, care planning and coordination primarily by face-to-face home visits. Despite a variability in terms of study design, setting, and sample, NP-led home-based primary care was in general associated with less hospitalization and fewer emergency department visits. Evidence was mixed in relation to patient-reported outcomes such as subjective health, functional status, and symptoms. Costs and patient or caregiver satisfaction were additional outcomes addressed, but the findings were inconsistent.


Implications for Practice: Recent policy changes to authorize NPs to independently assess, diagnose, and order home care services directly affect how NPs approach home-based primary care programs. Our findings support NP-led home-based primary care to decrease consequential health utilization and suggest the need for further evaluating the care models in diverse populations with more patient-reported and caregiver outcomes.