Nav: Home

Survey may reduce rates of malnutrition in hospitals

March 23, 2017

University of Waterloo researchers have created a tool aimed at decreasing the rate of malnutrition in hospitals.

The tool, known as the Mealtime Audit Tool (MAT), will help dietitians, doctors and nurses identify why a third of patients in acute care settings don't eat the food on their trays.

"We know poor food intake is happening in hospitals, and until now we didn't have a way of systematically understanding why," said Heather Keller, a professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and a Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging. "As malnutrition is a significant issue in hospitals, especially in surgical and medical units where long-term stays are not expected, nutrition is more difficult to monitor."

The MAT is a 17-question survey designed to identify why an individual patient is not eating well and also provides information to improve unit-wide practices. "With MAT, clinicians should be able to identify and solve nutrition issues at both the individual and the unit level," said Professor Keller.

Common barriers to food intake that MAT could help identify for individual patients as well as whole hospital units include: inconvenient meal times, hot foods arriving cold, dissatisfaction with food quality, interruptions during meals, unpleasant odours and distracting eating environments.

The nutritional status of about 20 per cent of patients deteriorates during a hospital stay. It can lead to longer hospital stays.

"Even patients who enter the hospital in good health are at risk for malnutrition," said Professor Keller. "By ensuring patients are getting the nutrition they need, we are not only expediting their recovery, but ensuring that complications due to poor food and fluid intake, like delirium and falls, do not occur while in hospital."

The next phase of MAT development will include an app to administer the survey and software to track and analyze responses.

Keller's research was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging.
-end-


University of Waterloo

Related Aging Articles:

Brain development and aging
The brain is a complex organ -- a network of nerve cells, or neurons, producing thought, memory, action, and feeling.
Aging gracefully in the rainforest
In an article that appears in the current issue of Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers synthesize over 15 years of theoretical and empirical findings from long-term study of the Tsimane forager-farmers.
Reversing aging now possible!
DGIST's research team identified the mechanism of reversible recovery of aging cells by inducing lysosomal activation.
Brain-aging gene discovered
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered a common genetic variant that greatly affects normal brain aging in older adults.
Aging can be good for you (if you're a yeast)
It's a cheering thought for anyone heading towards their golden years.
How eating less can slow the aging process
New research shows why calorie restriction made mice live longer and healthier lives.
Turning back the aging clock
By boosting genes that destroy defective mitochondrial DNA, researchers can slow down and potentially reverse an important part of the aging process.
Insilico Medicine launches a deep learned biomarker of aging, Aging.AI 2.0 for testing
Insilico Medicine, Inc., a company applying latest advances in deep learning to biomarker development, drug discovery and aging research, launched Aging.AI 2.0.
Substance with the potential to postpone aging
The coenzyme NAD+ plays a main role in aging processes.
What does a healthy aging cat look like?
Just as improved diet and medical care have resulted in increased life expectancy in humans, advances in nutrition and veterinary care have increased the life span of pet cats.

Related Aging Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...