Effects of nursing nutrition interventions on outcomes in malnourished hospital inpatients and nursing home residents: A systematic review

Gerda H. van den Berg*, Getty G. J. Huisman-de Waal, Hester Vermeulen, Marian A. E. de van der Schueren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Context: Malnutrition in institutionalized patients is associated with adverse outcomes and increased costs. Nurses have a crucial role in the recognition and treatment of malnutrition and empowering patients in nutritional care. Objective: This systematic review provides an overview of the effectiveness of nursing nutritional interventions to counteract malnutrition. Data sources: Data were obtained through a systematic search in MEDLINE/PubMed, Cochrane, CINAHL, EMBASE and ISI Web of Science databases from inception to February 15th 2018. Data extraction: Studies were eligible for inclusion when published in English, Spanish or German. Primary outcome parameters were nutritional status and dietary intake. Data analysis: The Evidence analysis checklist from the American Dietetic Association and GRADE were used to evaluate the methodological quality of the studies. Results: Out of 8162 studies, fifteen studies were included in the study, representing nine hospitals and six long-term care facilities. Two main categories of nursing nutrition interventions were identified; the implementation of 1) a nursing nutrition plan focusing on nursing actions in nutritional care or 2) nursing assistance in feeding support, mostly during mealtimes. Studies were heterogeneous and of most of them of low quality. This hampered drawing conclusions on effectiveness of nursing nutrition interventions on malnutrition related outcomes in clinical care. Nevertheless, six out of 15 studies reported a slightly improved nutritional status and/or clinical outcomes as a result of the interventions. Conclusion: This review identified two categories of nursing nutrition interventions to counteract malnutrition. Their effectiveness needs to be further evaluated in future studies. Tweetable abstract Systematic review of effective Nursing Nutrition Interventions in the management of malnutrition in hospital and nursing home care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103888
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Cite this