Undernutrition in nursing home rehabilitation patients

J I van Zwienen-Pot, M Visser, M. Kuijpers, M F A Grimmerink, H M Kruizenga

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of undernutrition, received dietetic treatment and self-perception of nutritional status in older patients admitted to Dutch nursing home rehabilitation wards.

METHODS: Between December 2012-February 2014, we included 190 patients (≥65 y) admitted to seven nursing home rehabilitation wards. Nutritional status in the first week of admission was characterized as: severely undernourished (>10% unintentional weight loss in the past six months and/or >5% unintentional weight loss in the past month and/or BMI < 20 kg/m(2)), moderately undernourished (5-10% unintentional weight loss in the past 6 months and/or BMI 20-22 kg/m(2)), well-nourished (<5% unintentional weight loss in the past 6 months and BMI 22-28 kg/m(2)) and overweight (BMI>28 kg/m(2)). Primary diagnosis was categorized as: trauma, elective orthopaedics, stroke and other. Perceived nutritional status was determined with the question: 'Do you currently consider yourself undernourished?' (yes/no). Information regarding dietetic treatment was obtained from medical records.

RESULTS: A complete dataset was obtained from 179 patients (70% female, age 81 ± 8 y). 26% of the patients was found to be severely undernourished and 14% moderately undernourished. Prevalence of undernutrition did not differ by sex or age. Of all undernourished patients, 56% had been treated by a dietitian. Only one out of five of undernourished patients considered themselves undernourished. Elective orthopaedics patients had the lowest prevalence of undernutrition (19%) while patients categorised as 'other' had the highest prevalence (51%).

CONCLUSION: More than one in three older patients in Dutch nursing home rehabilitation wards are moderately to severely undernourished. Out of these patients the majority does not consider themselves undernourished and almost half has not received dietetic treatment. More attention to undernutrition in nursing home rehabilitation patients seems necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-759
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date9 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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