The Economic Value of Enteral Medical Nutrition in the Management of Disease-Related Malnutrition: A Systematic Review

K Freijer, MJL Bours, MJC (Mark) Nuijten, Marten Poleij, JMM Meijers, RJG Halfens, JMGA Schols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Economic evaluations for medical nutrition, such as oral nutritional supplements (ONS), are relatively uncommon compared with other health technologies, and represent an area that has not been reviewed so far. In this systematic review, economic evaluations of enteral medical nutrition in the management of disease-related malnutrition (DRM) were reviewed and qualified to estimate the economic value. Initially, 481 studies were found, of which 37 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility and were rated on their quality using the Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) instrument. The final review focused on the high QHES quality economic evaluation studies. As both the studied medical nutrition intervention and the form of the economic evaluation varied, a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis) was not attempted but a critical analysis and comparison of the individual study results were performed. ONS was the most studied intervention, covering several patient populations and different health care settings. Outcomes included cost savings (n = 3), no significant extra costs per unit of clinical and/or functional improvement (n = 1), or significantly higher costs per unit of clinical and/or functional improvement but still cost-effective for the used threshold (n = 4). This review shows that the use of enteral medical nutrition in the management of DRM can be efficient from a health economic perspective. Copyright (C) 2014 - American Medical Directors Association, Inc.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-05-63-02 Quality
  • EMC MGC-02-53-01-A

Cite this