Nutritional Intervention in a Cross-sector Model for the Rehabilitation of Geriatric Patients

The purpose of the Follow-home-program is to facilitate the transition of the elderly patient between hospital and private home in order to follow-up on any medical, nursing- or retraining related intervention necessary to the rehabilitation of the patient​​

This offer, however, does not focus on nutrition in particular. This is a problem as many elderly patients are known to develop a poor nutritional status due to low appetite, disease etc. Our hypothesis was, that adding a systematic nutritional focus to the Follow-home intervention program will promote the rehabilitation of the elderly patient further. 

The study was designed as a 12 week randomized controlled intervention study. The study sample consisted of 80 older patients (70+ years) at nutritional risk, admitted to the geriatric ward at the Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Denmark. During the stay at the hospital, both groups received energy- and protein dense in-between meals. At discharge the patients were randomized into the control or the intervention group. The control group followed the usual follow-home program. The intervention group also followed this program, but was additionally offered 3 home visits by a Registered Dietician. The nutritional intervention in our study focused on improving energy- and protein intake.

Before (at the hospital) and after the intervention, data on hand-grip strength, nutritional status, dietary intake, functional abilities, well-being and activities of daily living were gathered. In addition, data regarding prevalence of unplanned re-admissions and mortality was gathered, at 3 and 6 months after discharge, respectively.

The study ran from March 2013 until December 2013, and received funding from the Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Danish Regions and the Danish Health Cartel.

Anne Marie Beck was the Project Manager.

The study was registred at Identifier: NCT01776762