Prevalence of Malnutrition, Interventions and Quality Indicators in German Nursing Homes - First Results of a Nationwide Pilot Study

S. Bartholomeyczik*, S. Reuther, Joan L. Luft, N. van Nie, J. Meijers, J. Schols, R. Halfens

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aims of this study were to test the transfer and feasibility of a Dutch annual survey on malnutrition into German nursing homes and to gather first data about the prevalence of malnutrition, treatment and quality indicators in German resident homes.A cross-sectional multicentre study, using a standardised multilevel instrument (observation, questionnaire) developed in the University of Maastricht was applied. Variables are indicators for malnutrition and its risks, quality indicators, care dependency and treatment initiatives.The sample consisted of 32 nursing homes with 2,444 participating residents. 26% of the residents show indicators of malnutrition, a risk of malnutrition can be found in another 28%. Only one quarter of the nursing homes use a standardised nutritional screening instrument. Significantly more people with dementia have indicators of malnutrition. Most facilities provide a protocol or a guideline for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. Also most are training their staff regularly in questions of malnutrition, half the institutions employ dieticians or nutritionists. Special treatment was initiated in half of all residents having indicators of malnutrition or showing a risk.The Dutch instrument is applicable in German nursing homes. Its utilisation shows that malnutrition is still a problem in German nursing homes. The standardised assessment of nutritional status is the exception; the interventions carried out should be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-874
JournalDas Gesundheitswesen
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • malnutrition
  • quality of nursing care
  • quality instruments
  • nursing homes

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