Economic Evaluation of Nutrition Support in the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers in Acute and Chronic Care Settings: A Systematic Review

Alvin Wong, Geraldine Goh, Merrilyn D. Banks, Judith D. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent developments in nutrition intervention indicated clinical effectiveness for pressure ulcer (PU) prevention and treatment, but it is important to assess whether they are cost-effective. The aims of this systematic review are to determine the cost-effectiveness and clinical outcomes of nutrition support in PU prevention and treatment. Methods: A systematic search of randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and statistical models that investigated cost-effectiveness and economic outcomes for prevention and/or treatment of PUs were performed using standard literature and electronic databases. Results: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria, which included 3 randomized controlled trials with their companion economic evaluations, 4 model-based, 2 cohort, 1 pre and post, and 1 prospective controlled trial. Risk of bias assessment for all of the uncontrolled or observational trials revealed high or serious risk of bias. Interventions that incorporated specialized nursing care appeared to be more effective in prevention and treatment of PUs, compared with single intervention studies. There is a trend of improved PU healing when additional energy/protein are provided. PU prevention ($250–$9,800) was less expensive than treatment ($2,500–$16,000). Nutrition intervention for PU prevention was cost-effective in 87.0%–99.99% of the simulation models. Conclusions: There is potential cost-saving and/or cost-effectiveness of nutrition support in the long term, as predicted by the model-based PU prevention studies in the review. Prevention of PU also appears to be more cost-effective than treatment. A multidisciplinary approach to managing PU is more likely to be cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-400
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cost-effectiveness
  • economic evaluation
  • nutrition support
  • pressure ulcer

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