Determinants of nutritional status of older people in long-term care settings on the example of the nursing home in Białystok

Z B Wojszel
Advances in Medical Sciences 2006, 51: 168-73

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was the assessment of the nutritional status of older people living in the chosen long-term care setting in Poland as well as the determinants having an effect on the nutritional status of the examined subjects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The subjects included older residents (aged 65 years and older) of the nursing home for the somatically ill adults in Bialystok. The MNA-Mini Nutritional Assessment test was used as an assessment tool to detect nutritional risk. The assessment included elements of clinical and functional evaluation (Katz Index, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, Abbreviated Mental Test Score, Norton scale and mobility scale).

RESULTS: One hundred out of the 109 persons fulfilling the age criterion were examined. We found that 12% of them were malnourished, 61% were at risk of malnutrition and 27% were well nourished according to the MNA test. Malnutrition affected more often persons having difficulties with chewing, ADL dependent, with limited mobility, suspected of dementia, having suffered from cerebral stroke and who lived with other people coming to the nursing home. The risk of malnutrition was observed significantly more often in individuals suspected of depression and living in urban area before nursing home placement. The significant determinants of lower scores of MNA in the regression analysis were: suspected depression, IADL dependency, limited mobility, female gender and higher number of drugs.

CONCLUSIONS: The study has confirmed that malnutrition remains a common problem among older people living in nursing homes. Malnutrition is an increasing hazard especially for women, for people taking higher number of drugs and for those with different mental and physical disabilities.

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