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Clinical nutrition, enteral and parenteral nutrition

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



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


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.


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.


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

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This research was supported by a grant from the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Research Foundation.

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Correspondence to M D Banks.

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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on European Journal of Clinical Nutrition website

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Banks, M., Graves, N., Bauer, J. et al. Cost effectiveness of nutrition support in the prevention of pressure ulcer in hospitals. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 42–46 (2013).

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