This artice is free to access.
Background: Previous studies have investigated process and structure indicators of nutritional care as well as their use in nursing homes (NHs), but the relative weight of these indicators in predicting the risk of malnutrition remains unclear. Aims of the present study are to describe the quality indicators of nutritional care in older residents in a sample of NHs in Tuscany, Italy, and to evaluate the predictors of protein-energy malnutrition risk. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 67 NHs. Information was collected to evaluate quality indicators of nutritional care and the individual risk factors for malnutrition, which was assessed using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool. A multilevel model was used to analyse the association between risk and predictors. Results: Out of 2395 participants, 23.7 % were at high, 11 % at medium, and 65.3 % at low risk for malnutrition. Forty-two percent of the NHs had only a personal scale to weigh residents; 88 % did not routinely use a screening test/tool for malnutrition; 60 % used some standardized approach for weight measurement; 43 % did not assess the severity of dysphagia; 12 % were not staffed with dietitians. Patients living in NHs where a chair or platform scale was available had a significantly lower risk of malnutrition (OR = 0.73; 95 % CI = 0.56-0.94). None of the other structural or process quality indicators showed a statistically significant association with malnutrition risk. Conclusions: Of all the process and structural indicators considered, only the absence of an adequate scale to weigh residents predicted the risk of malnutrition, after adjusting for case mix. These findings prompt the conduction of further investigations on the effectiveness of structural and process indicators that are used to describe quality of nutritional care in NHs.
Bonaccorsi, G., Collini, F., Castagnoli, M., Di Bari, M., Cavallini, M. C., Zaffarana, N., … Lorini, C. (2015). A cross-sectional survey to investigate the quality of care in Tuscan (Italy) nursing homes: The structural, process and outcome indicators of nutritional care. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-0881-5