OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore whether structural quality indicators for nutritional care influence malnutrition prevalence in the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. Furthermore, differences in malnutrition prevalence and structural quality indicators for nutritional care nursing homes in the three countries were examined. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, multicenter study using a standardized questionnaire at the patient, ward, and institutional levels. Malnutrition was assessed by low body mass index, undesired weight loss, and reduced intake. Structural quality indicators of nutritional care were measured at the ward and institutional levels. RESULTS: The prevalence of malnutrition differed significantly between the three countries (Netherlands 18%, Germany 20%, and Austria 22.7%). Structural quality indicators related to nutritional care as having a guideline of prevention and treatment of malnutrition were related to malnutrition and explained malnutrition prevalence variance between the Netherlands and Germany. Differences between the Netherlands and Austria in malnutrition prevalence still existed after controlling for these quality structural indicators. CONCLUSIONS: Structural quality indicators of nutritional care are important in explaining malnutrition variance between the Netherlands and Germany. However, they did not explain the difference in malnutrition prevalence between the Netherlands and Austria. Investigating the role of process indicators may provide insight in the role of structural quality indicators of nutritional care in explaining the malnutrition prevalence differences between the Netherlands and Austria.
- Structural quality indicators
- Nursing homes
- HOSPITAL MALNUTRITION