JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Cost effectiveness of nutrition support in the prevention of pressure ulcer in hospitals.

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

SUBJECTS/METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

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

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