In developed countries there is growing awareness of the importance of recognizing, rating, and treating malnutrition in health care. The objective of this study was to provide data on a large scale concerning the prevalence, screening, treatment and quality indicators, with regard to malnutrition in nursing homes in the Netherlands, in 2006 This cross sectional multi-centre point prevalence study, performed in 2004, 2005 and 2006, included in 2006 10.923 patients of nursing homes .The results presented are part of The Annual Dutch Prevalence Study on Care Problems (LPZ) performed by Universiteit Maastricht. The study uses a standardised questionnaire which is divided in three parts: (1) the profile of the health care institution (kind of institution, quality indicators), (2) the profile of the department (kind of department, quality indicators), and (3) patient characteristics (demographic data, reason of admission, and prevention and treatment of 4 care problems: pressure ulcers, incontinence, intertrigo and malnutrition.). Nutritional status was assessed by BMI, undesired weight loss and nutritional intake In 2006, 202 health care organisations participated in the LPZ, including 78 nursing homes. Results show that one out of four patients was malnourished in the participating nursing homes. The older the patient was and the more diseases the patient had, the higher the prevalence rate of malnutrition. Less then 50% of the patients were screened for malnutrition and a dietician was consulted in less than 50% of the cases. Furthermore, focussing on the quality indicators reveals that there is no structural and uniform policy concerning malnutrition in most of the participating nursing homes. One out of four patients is malnourished in nursing homes.This requires actions towards a more structural nutritional policy in Dutch nursing homes to target this relevant care problem.
Meijers, J. M. M., Schols, J. M. G. A., Van Bokhorst-De Van Der Schueren, M. A. E., & Halfens, R. J. G. (2007). Malnutrition in nursing homes: Prevalence, prevention, treatment, and policy. Tijdschrift Voor Verpleeghuisgeneeskunde, 32(3).