Backgrounds & aims: Malnutrition in western health care involves a tremendous burden of illness. In this study the economic implications of malnutrition in Dutch nursing homes are investigated as part of the Health and Economic Impact of Malnutrition in Europe Study from the European Nutrition for Health Alliance.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed, focussing on the additional time and resources spent to execute all relevant nutritional activities in nursing home patients with at risk of malnutrition or malnourished. Results were extrapolated on national level, based on the prevalence rates gathered within the national Prevalence Measurement of Care Problems 2009.
Results: The normal nutritional costs are 319 million Euro per year. The total additional costs of managing the problem of malnutrition in Dutch nursing homes involve 279 million Euro per year and are related to extra efforts in nutritional screening, monitoring and treatment. The extra costs for managing nursing home residents at risk of malnutrition are 8000 euro per patient and 10000 euro for malnourished patients.
Conclusions: The extra costs related to malnutrition are a considerable burden for the nursing home sector and urge for preventive measures.
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