Health  Vol.10 No.9 , September 2018
A Dietician’s Bedside Supervision in a Geriatric Ward Is Effective
Abstract: Introduction: Health professionals have greater focus on nutrition issues when having access to a dietician. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of having bed-side access to a clinical dietician in a geriatric ward. Methods: A follow-up study included consecutively all patients admitted in two geriatric wards during three time periods of 2½ months each. The intervention was health professionals’ bed-side access to a clinical dietician. Patients hospitalized during the intervention period were compared to patients hospitalized before and after. Patients hospitalized ≤2 days and not screened were excluded. Data on nutritional screening, patients’ daily energy and protein intake, change in body weight from admission to discharge, and a nutrition plan and prescribed oral nutritional supplement at discharge were analysed using ANOVA analysis of variance and Chi-squared test. Results: A total of 554 patients (81%) were at nutritional risk. During the intervention period the compliance of diet registration was better. The patients’ protein and energy intake was higher during the intervention compared with that before and after the intervention (p = 0.04/p = 0.005). Fewer patients lost weight during and after the intervention. Length of hospital stay (LOS) was 1 median day longer in the period before the intervention compared with that during and after the intervention (7 days). LOS was associated with weight change. Conclusions: Health professionals’ access to a bedside dietician in a geriatric ward seems to improve protein and energy intake and thereby the older patients’ body weight, but not sufficiently. The dietician also enhances the staffs’ awareness of nutrition improvements after discharge.
Cite this paper: Jensen, M. , Pedersen, J. and Gregersen, M. (2018) A Dietician’s Bedside Supervision in a Geriatric Ward Is Effective. Health, 10, 1221-1232. doi: 10.4236/health.2018.109094.

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