Evaluation of malnutrition frequency and related factors of geriatric patients in need of home healthcare


Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira




SUMMARY OBJECTIVE: The nutritional status of frail elderly people receiving home health services should be evaluated. This study aimed to determine the nutritional status of patients aged ≥65 years registered in the Home Healthcare Services unit and investigate the factors that may be associated with malnutrition. METHODS: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted during routine visits to patients and their caregivers. A total of 161 patients were asked to fill in surveys asking about sociodemographic characteristics, patient history, and clinical status. Anthropometric measurements were taken from all patients. The Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form was applied to the patients for screening purposes. Patients who scored ≤11 on the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form were then asked to complete the full Mini Nutritional Assessment form. RESULTS: According to the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form and Mini Nutritional Assessment tests, almost half of the elderly patients included in the study (49.7%, n=161) were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Analyses showed that those who had COVID-19 [odds ratio (OR): 9.423, 95%CI 2.448–36.273) and those diagnosed with dementia/depression (OR: 8.688, 95%CI 3.246–23.255) were more likely to be malnourished, whereas those with diabetes (OR: 0.235, 95%CI 0.084–0.657) were less likely to have malnutrition. Strikingly, those who were fed by caregivers (OR: 15.061, 95%CI 3.617–62.710) were also more likely to be malnourished than those with self-feeding ability. CONCLUSION: Malnutrition or the risk of malnutrition is common in elderly patients receiving home care services. Many factors can have an impact on malnutrition.

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