The role of the specialist nurse in comprehensive care for bleeding disorders in Europe: An integrative review

Greta Mulders*, Nanda Uitslager, Mary Kavanagh, Maj Friberg Birkedal, Gabriella Nicolo, Renester Fenton, Linda Myrin Westesson, European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders (EAHAD) Nurses Committee

*Corresponding author for this work


INTRODUCTION: Managing bleeding disorders (BDs) is complex, requiring a comprehensive approach coordinated by a multidisciplinary team (MDT). Haemophilia nurses (HNs) play a central role in the MDT, frequently coordinating care. As novel treatments bring change to the treatment landscape, ongoing education and development is key. However, understanding of the roles and tasks of HNs is lacking.

AIM: The EAHAD Nurses Committee sought to identify and describe the roles and tasks of the European HN.

METHODS: A five-step integrative review was undertaken, including problem identification, literature search, data evaluation, data synthesis and presentation. Relevant literature published from 2000 to 2022 was identified through database, hand and ancestry searching. Data were captured using extraction forms and thematically analysed.

RESULTS: Seven hundred and seventy-seven articles were identified; 43 were included. Five main roles were identified, with varied and overlapping associated tasks: Educator, Coordinator, Supporter, Treater and Researcher. Tasks related to education, coordination and support were most frequently described. Patient education was often 'nurse-led', though education and coordination roles concerned both patients and health care practitioners (HCPs), within and beyond the MDT. The HN coordinates care and facilitates communication. Long-term patient care relationships place HNs in a unique position to provide support. Guidelines for HN core competencies have been developed in some countries, but autonomy and practice vary.

CONCLUSION: As the treatment landscape changes, all five main HN roles will be impacted. Despite national variations, this review provides a baseline to anticipate educational needs to enable HNs to continue to fulfil their role.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHaemophilia Online
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)598-608
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Blood Coagulation Disorders
  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Nurse Specialists
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Care Team
  • blood coagulation disorders inherited
  • haemophilia
  • von Willebrand disease
  • nursing


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