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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


PEIRO MORENO, Salvador; LLANO SENARIS, Juan del  y  GOL MONTSERRAT, Jordi. Treatment of disease-related malnutrition: status of regulation in the Spanish National Health System. An exploratory study through focus groups. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.6, pp.1246-1280.  Epub 08-Feb-2021. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background and objectives:

the legislation currently regulating the inclusion of Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) among the benefits of the National Health System (SNS) was made approximately 15 years ago. The evolution of the technical characteristics of the FSMP justifies an analysis of the current regulation and the consideration of possible regulatory modifications that would allow the incorporation of the progress achieved.

Material and methods:

four successive focus groups of experts, mostly doctors (91%), hospital specialists in disciplines related to nutrition (73%), from 8 different hospitals and 6 autonomous communities. Previously, 4 documents summarizing different technical aspects of the regulation on FSMP in Spain were sent to the participants. The audio of the meetings was transcribed anonymously and its content was codified.


the contents of the focus groups were grouped into 9 codes: 1) problems and regulation; 2) clinical benefits and evidence of efficacy or effectiveness; 3) clinical indications; 4) international context and comparisons with other countries; 5) budgetary impact; 6) cost-effectiveness; 7) risks and reasons for maintaining current regulation; 8) proposals for progress, feasibility and aspects that make implementation difficult; and 9) other issues.


based on the technological development and clinical application of the FSMP carried out in recent years, an update of the regulation of these products can be proposed for financing by the National Health System in Spain. Most of these changes do not imply an increase in expenditure if current conditions regarding indications and maximum prices are maintained.

Palabras clave : Disease-related malnutrition (DRM); Food for special medical purposes (FSMP); Regulation; National Health System (NHS).

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