Article

Malnutrition in hospitalised neurological patients approximately doubles in 10 days of hospitalisation

Division of Neuroscience of the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neurosciences University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Journal of Clinical Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.23). 03/2010; 19(5-6):639-48. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03142.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To measure the nutritional status of neurological patients during admission and after 10 days, with a special focus on those with malnutrition and those at risk of malnutrition, and to measure the association of clinical variables and nutritional status, which may be important for the early detection of patients at risk of malnutrition.
Studies have shown high prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalised patients and recommend structured screening and nutritional intervention for these patients. There is a lack of information concerning the nutritional status of neurological patients.
A prospective descriptive study.
Neurological patients (n = 196) were included from departments of neurology and neurosurgery in Dutch university hospital. Nutritional status was measured with the Mini Nutritional Assessment and functional status with the Barthel Index and the Rankin Scale at admission to the hospital and after 10 days.
Of the patients, 34% were at risk of malnutrition, 7% were malnourished, whereas 59% of the patients were well nourished according to the MNA. After 10 days, 57% were at risk of malnutrition, 22% were malnourished and 21% were well nourished. The total group of patients malnourished and at risk of malnutrition was 41% at admission, which had grown to 79% in 10 days. Significant association was found between various clinical variables and nutritional status.
A large group of neurological patients is malnourished and at risk of malnutrition during hospital admission, and the nutritional status of most patients worsens in 10 days. Various clinical variables may be of importance in detecting malnourished patients.
Nurses need to observe the symptoms of malnutrition and provide evidence-based nutritional interventions to these patients. Improved education of nurses and good collaboration between the professionals and the facilitation of hospital management is essential to improve nutritional care of neurological patients.

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    ABSTRACT: To summarize recent evidences and advances on the implementation and the use of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Despite being introduced and validated for clinical use about 20 years ago, the MNA has recently received new attention in order to more widely disseminate among healthcare professionals the practice of a systematic nutritional screening and assessment of the old patient. Particularly, the structure has been implemented to face the difficulties in having the patients contributing to the assessment and to reduce further the time required to complete the evaluation. Recent data also confirm that in older populations prevalence of malnutrition by this tool is associated with the level of dependence. The rationale of nutritional assessment is to identify patients candidate to nutritional support. However, the sensitivity of the MNA is still debated because it has been associated with a high-risk 'overdiagnosis' and the advantages of a positive screening need to be assessed both in terms of outcome and money saving. The MNA is a simple and highly sensitive tool for nutritional screening and assessment. The large mass of data collected and the diffusion among healthcare professionals clearly support its use. However, the cost-effectiveness of interventions based on its scoring deserves investigation.
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May 19, 2014