The facilitated early enteral and dietary management effectiveness trial in hospitalized patients with malnutrition

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2011 Mar;35(2):209-16. doi: 10.1177/0148607110392234.


Background: The prevalence of malnutrition in the hospitalized setting is 30% to 55%. Previous studies reported an association of malnutrition with an increased hospital length of stay (LOS), morbidity, and mortality of patients. This study evaluated the role of early nutrition intervention on LOS, diagnosis coding of malnutrition cases, calculating case mix index, and reducing delays in implementing nutrition support to patients.

Methods: Demographic data, anthropometric measurements, LOS, and serum albumin levels were collected from 400 patients in 2 medical wards to determine the prevalence of malnutrition and potential delays in nutrition consultation. Based on these results, a nutrition intervention study was conducted in 1 ward; the other ward served as a control. Patients were classified as normally nourished or malnourished. Multivariate general linear regressions were used to reveal the impact of intervention on the change in LOS, controlling for other potential confounding factors on the cohort and a subset with severe malnutrition.

Results: Of the 400 patients assessed, 53% had malnutrition. Multiple general linear regressions showed that nutrition intervention reduced LOS an average of 1.93 days in the cohort group and 3.2 days in the severe malnourished group. Case mix index and female gender were positively associated with LOS in the malnourished group. Nutrition intervention reduced the delays in implementing nutrition support to patients by 47%.

Conclusions: Results highlight the positive impact of nutrition intervention in terms of reduced LOS in malnourished hospital patients. Reduction in LOS with diagnosis coding of malnutrition cases yielded substantial economic benefits.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Diagnosis-Related Groups
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology
  • Malnutrition / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors