Background: There is a lack of data on global weight loss prevention programs for patients with dementia or clear evidence about their impact on a functional level, caregiver burden or the use of healthcare and social resources. NutriAlz is a socio-educative and nutritional intervention program to prevent weight loss and loss of function in dementia patients.
Study design and methods: A cluster randomized multi-centre study, which will allow the comparison of a group benefiting from the intervention with a control group after a year of monitoring. Patients were recruited from 11 hospitals in the ambulatory diagnostic units and day care centres. The baseline interview include: sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables (age, gender, educational level, marital status); diagnostic, treatments, MMS, a list of comorbid conditions; activities of daily living (ADL, IADL), Zarit Scale, brief-NPI, Cornell scale and nutritional status as measured by the Mini Nutritional Assessment. All participants or their family signed the inform consent form.
Baseline characteristics: Total of 946 patients were included, with a mean (+/- SD) of 79 +/- 7.3 year of age; 68,1 % were women; 44,9% lives with their partner, only 3% lives alone; 79.8% had Alzheimer's dementia, 5.25 +/- 3.0 years since symptoms of dementia and 2.8 +/- 2.11 years since diagnosis. Mean MMSE score was 15.4 +/- 6.2; mean weight was 64.4 +/- 12.5 kg; mean BMI was 27.0 +/- 4.5 (with 3% below 19, 5% between 19-21, 10% between 21-23, and 82% above 23). Mean ADL without difficulties was 3.2 +/- 2.1; mean IADL without difficulties was 0.7 +/- 1.6; mean number of symptoms in the NPI was 4.4 +/- 2.59, with severity score of 7.9 +/- 5.9 and distress score of 11.3 +/- 9.0; mean Zarit scale was 27.4 +/- 15.5; mean MNA was 23.2 +/- 3.5 with 5 % as malnourished, 32 % at risk of malnutrition, and 63 % with adequate nutritional status.