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Nutritional variables predict chances of returning home and activities of daily living in post-acute geriatric care

Authors Maeda K, Koga T, Akagi J

Received 14 October 2017

Accepted for publication 23 December 2017

Published 26 January 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 151—157


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Keisuke Maeda,1,2 Takayuki Koga,3 Junji Akagi4

1Palliative Care Center, Aichi Medical University, Aichi, Japan; 2Department of Nutrition and Dysphagia Rehabilitation, Tamana Regional Health Medical Center, Kumamoto, Japan; 3Department of Swallowing and Nutritional Therapy, Tamana Regional Health Medical Center, Kumamoto, Japan; 4Department of Surgery, Tamana Regional Health Medical Center, Kumamoto, Japan

Background: Little is known about the association between malnutrition and the chances of returning home from post-acute facilities in older adult patients. This study aimed to understand whether malnutrition and malnutrition-related factors would be determinants for returning home and activities of daily living (ADL) at discharge after post-acute care.
Methods: Patients aged ≥65 years living at home before the onset of an acute disease and admitted to a post-acute ward were enrolled (n=207) in this prospective observational study. Malnutrition was defined based on the criteria of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Nutritional parameters included the nutritional intake at the time of admission and oral conditions evaluated by the Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT). The Barthel Index was used to assess daily activities. A Cox regression analysis of the length of stay was performed. Multivariable linear regression analyses to determine associations between malnutrition, returning home, and ADL at discharge were performed, after adjusting the variables of acute care setting.
Results: The mean patient age was 84.7±6.7 years; 38% were men. European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism-defined malnutrition was observed in 129 (62.3%) patients, and 118 (57.0%) of all patients returned home. Multivariable regression analyses showed that malnutrition was a negative predictor of returning home (hazard ratio: 0.517 [0.351–0.761], p=0.001), and an increase in the nutritional intake (kcal/kg/d) was a positive predictor of the Barthel Index at discharge (coefficient: 0.34±0.15, p=0.021). The OHAT was not associated with returning home and ADL.
Conclusion: Malnutrition and nutritional intake are associated with returning home and ADL at discharge, respectively, after post-acute care. Further studies investigating the effects of a nutritional intervention for post-acute patients would be necessary.

Keywords: geriatric care, malnutrition, patient discharge, nutritional intake, ADL

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