Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
What indicates that an older person in a nursing home will develop malnutrition? That is the subject of a study by Bauer et al (2017) titled: 'Changes in nutritional status in nursing home residents and associated factors in nutritional status decline: a secondary data analysis' and published in JAN which aimed to: 'describe changes in the nutritional status of nursing home residents over a period of 1 year and identify factors associated with a decline in nutritional status'.
Using data from 157 older residents, several factors were related to the development of malnutrition. In the words of the authors: 'care dependency, length of stay, changes in body mass index and malnutrition risk at baseline were significantly associated with a decline in nutritional status.' However, risk of malnutrition at admission to a nursing home is 'the most important risk factor indicating a decline in nutritional status.' The authors conclude: 'Our findings indicate that it is critical for the topic of malnutrition to be emphasized in basic and advanced nursing educational programmes, to train nursing professionals to identify nursing home residents at risk effectively and early on. The identification of residents at risk should be performed during their admission to nursing homes and at regular time intervals using validated nutritional screening tools.'
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BAUER S., HALFENS R.J.G. & LOHRMANN C. (2017) Changes in nutritional status in nursing home residents and associated factors in nutritional status decline: a secondary data analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13297