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Nutritional screening of older home-dwelling Norwegians: a comparison between two instruments

Original Research

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Authors: Söderhamn U, Dale B, Sundsli K, Söderhamn O

Published Date September 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 383 - 391

Ulrika Söderhamn, Bjørg Dale, Kari Sundsli, Olle Söderhamn

Centre for Caring Research-Southern Norway, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway

Background: It is important to obtain knowledge about the prevalence of nutritional risk and associated factors among older home-dwelling people in order to be able to meet nutritional challenges in this group in the future and to plan appropriate interventions. The aim of this survey was to investigate the prevalence of home-dwelling older people at nutritional risk and to identify associated factors using two different nutritional screening instruments as self-report instruments.
Methods: This study had a cross-sectional design. A postal questionnaire, including the Norwegian versions of the Nutritional Form for the Elderly (NUFFE-NO) and Mini Nutritional Assessment – Short Form (MNA-SF), background variables, and health-related questions was sent to a randomized sample of 6033 home-dwelling older people in southern Norway. A total of 2106 (34.9%) subjects were included in the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses.
Results: When using the NUFFE-NO and MNA-SF, 426 (22.3%) and 258 (13.5%) older persons, respectively, were identified to be at nutritional risk. The risk of undernutrition increased with age. Several predictors for being at risk of undernutrition, including chronic disease/handicap and receiving family help, as well as protective factors, including sufficient food intake and having social contacts, were identified.
Conclusion: Health professionals must be aware of older people's vulnerability to risk of undernutrition, perform screening, and have a plan for preventing undernutrition. For that purpose, MNA-SF and NUFFE-NO can be suggested for screening older people living at home.

Keywords: aged, risk factors, undernutrition, screening

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