Incorporating efficiency into the evaluation of nutritional programmes to improve nutrition among older people: NUTRIRES Project
Celia Muñoz Fernández
Técnica de Área en Decisiones Basadas en la Evidencia, Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud (IACS), Zaragoza
Line of research: Health Economics
The fact that the population is ageing is clear. Currently 19% of the population in Europe has is over 65 years old, and this proportion is projected to reach 24% by 2030. It is therefore generating a demand for social care services, especially among those who have limitations or diseases. In this context, people’s nutritional status becomes particularly significant. Malnutrition in older people can generate risks such as a loss of autonomy or fragility. All this, besides deteriorating quality of life, can lead to a greater use of health resources (more medical complications, longer hospital stays) and indirect costs (costs for families, informal care). The association between nutritional risk and functional impairment requires increased awareness of nutritional problems, early intervention and the prevention of further nutritional and functional deterioration among nursing home residents.
A consensus has been established on research priorities, where it was recommended that malnutrition determinants be addressed through interventions based on structural, functional and people-centred outcomes, particularly multimodal interventions, which include those aimed at training staff. However, little is known about the effectiveness and efficiency of educational interventions intended for professionals, the purpose of which is to improve the nutritional and sensorial quality of menus, increasing their acceptability among users and contributing to a reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition in homes. This PhD thesis can be divided into three different parts, each corresponding to sequential phases of the research:
- a) to explore perspectives and experiences from professionals, conducting a qualitative analysis to describe the context
- b) to design, organise and assess the effectiveness of delivering a training course on the presentation and preparation of modified textures dishes and
- c) to analyse the efficiency of delivering this educational intervention.
In short, this aim of this project is to contribute to the detection of good practices and areas for improvement related to nutrition, health and the overall satisfaction of institutionalised older people and to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of educational interventions related to nutrition, both in the short and the long term, in a way that allows the findings to be extrapolated to a wider geographical area.