To describe nursing leaders' perceptions of nutrition quality in Swedish stroke wards.
A high risk of undernutrition places great demand on nutritional care in stroke wards. Evidence-based guidelines exist, but healthcare professionals have reported low interest in nutritional care. The Donabedian framework of structure, process and outcome is recommended to monitor and improve nutrition quality.
Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, a web-based questionnaire regarding nutritional care quality was delivered to eligible participants.
Most clinical nursing leaders reported structure indicators, e.g. access to dieticians. Among process indicators, regular assessment of patients' swallowing was most frequently reported in comprehensive stroke wards compared with other stroke wards. Use of outcomes to monitor nutrition quality was not routine. Wards using standard care plans showed significantly better results.
Using the structure, process and outcome framework to examine nutrition quality, quality-improvement needs became visible. To provide high-quality nutrition, all three structure, process and outcome components must be addressed.
Implications for nursing management
The use of care pathways, standard care plans, the Senior Alert registry, as well as systematic use of outcome measures could improve nutrition quality. To assist clinical nursing leaders in managing all aspects of quality, structure, process and outcome can be a valuable framework.