Cost effectiveness of nutrition support in the prevention of pressure ulcer in hospitals

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan;67(1):42-6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.140. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Background/objectives: This study estimates the economic outcomes of a nutrition intervention to at-risk patients compared with standard care in the prevention of pressure ulcer.

Subjects/methods: Statistical models were developed to predict 'cases of pressure ulcer avoided', 'number of bed days gained' and 'change to economic costs' in public hospitals in 2002-2003 in Queensland, Australia. Input parameters were specified and appropriate probability distributions fitted for: number of discharges per annum; incidence rate for pressure ulcer; independent effect of pressure ulcer on length of stay; cost of a bed day; change in risk in developing a pressure ulcer associated with nutrition support; annual cost of the provision of a nutrition support intervention for at-risk patients. A total of 1000 random re-samples were made and the results expressed as output probability distributions.

Results: The model predicts a mean 2896 (s.d. 632) cases of pressure ulcer avoided; 12, 397 (s.d. 4491) bed days released and corresponding mean economic cost saving of euros 2 869 526 (s.d. 2 078 715) with a nutrition support intervention, compared with standard care.

Conclusion: Nutrition intervention is predicted to be a cost-effective approach in the prevention of pressure ulcer in at-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost Savings
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Length of Stay
  • Malnutrition / diet therapy*
  • Malnutrition / physiopathology
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Models, Economic
  • Nutritional Support* / economics
  • Pressure Ulcer / economics
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / etiology
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Risk