KU Leuven Research Initiatives

KU Leuven research

The research group on Quality & Patient Safety of the Leuven Institute for Healthcare Policy has more than 10 years of experience in Second Victim Research. In October 2021, Prof. Kris Vanhaecht & Dr. Deborah Seys gave, during a keynote lecture for ERNST-COST, an overview of all their research. This lecture was dedicated to Dr. Jim Conway, who passed away in June 2021. Jim was a leader and mentor on Second Victim research & peer support. We will always remember Jim as a humble leader and we know the work on SV at Leuven University was impossible without his expertise, his kindness and friendship. A recording of the lecture can be viewed here:

An overview of our research activities can be found here:
2021: Do healthcare workers react differently on COVID-19 then after being involved in a patients safety incident?
2021: Mental wellbeing and support of doctors during the first peak of COVID-19.
2021: The ZorgSamen Barometer: the results in belgian residential care centers.
2020: Second victim structures in anesthesia (Belgium).
2020: Patient safety incidents identified from different angles.
2019: Use and effects of open disclosure after patient safety incidents.
2019: Discussing of patient safety incidents in a regional hospital.
2019: Open communication after a patien safety incident.
2019: Mangomoments and patient safety incidents
2018: Impact of patient safety incidents on bachelor students nursing and midwifery.
2018: Second victim support in junior nurses and midwives in the aftermath of a patient safety incident.
2014: Quantitative research within 30 Dutch-speaking hospitals in Belgium (acute, psychiatric and rehabilitation) on the prevalence of second victims among physicians, nurses and midwives.
2014: Qualitative research on current support systems in acute hospitals within the Flemish Hospital Network.
2013: Impact of adverse events on Medical Specialists in training.
2013: Impact of adverse events within mental healthcare.
2013: Emotional well-being of anesthesia trainee after an adverse event.
2013: Economical impact of second victims.
2013: Support for nurses as “second victims”
2012: Impact of adverse events on the management of a health care organization (third victim).
2012: Practical approach of support systems for second victims in Flemish health care organizations.
2012: Relation between adverse events and burnout.
This survey is part of an empirical study for burnout and work engagement in physicians and nurses of the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, in close collaboration with  Idewe, the department of Occupational, Environmental and Insurance Medicine and the department of Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology of the University of Leuven.
2011: Support systems for second victims in Flanders, Belgium.
2012: Interviews with second victims on impact, coping and support.
2012: Impact of adverse events on bachelor students nursing and midwifery.
2010: Literature search on the impact of adverse events on health care professionals.
2010: Literature search on support systems for health care professionals as second victims.

2011-2015: PhD study on nurses and physicians as second victims in health care: impact on functioning and well-being (PhD-student Eva Van Gerven)
The goal of this doctoral study is to identify the impact of adverse events on the professional functioning and well-being of physicians and nurses and to examine which aspects of human resource management determine this impact.
Promotor: Prof. dr. Walter Sermeus. Co-promotors: Prof. dr. Martin Euwema & dr. Kris Vanhaecht.