Multifaceted nutritional intervention among nursing-home residents has a positive influence on nutrition and function

Anne Marie Beck, Karin Damkjær, Nina Beyer

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Objective: We tested the hypothesis that a multifaceted 11-wk intervention comprising nutrition, group exercise, and oral care would have a significant influence on nutrition and function in elderly ( >= 65 y) nursing-home residents. Methods: The study was an 11-wk randomized controlled intervention study with nutrition (chocolate and homemade oral supplements), group exercise twice a week (45-60 min, moderate intensity), and oral care intervention one to two times a week, with the aim of improving nutritional status and function in elderly nursing-home residents. A follow-up visit was made 4 mo after the end of the intervention. Assessments were weight, body mass index, dietary intake, handgrip strength, Senior Fitness Test, Berg's Balance Scale, and the prevalence of plaque. Results: A total of 121 subjects (61%) accepted the invitation and 62 were randomized to the intervention group. Six of these dropped out during the 11 wk. At the 4-mo follow-up there were 15 deaths in the intervention group and 8 in the control group. The nutrition and exercise were well tolerated. After 11wk the change in percentage of weight (P = 0.005), percentage of body mass index (P = 0.003). energy intake (P = 0.084). protein intake (P = 0.012), and Berg's Balance Scale (P = 0.004) was higher in the intervention group than in the control group. In addition, the percentage of subjects whose functional tests improved was higher in the intervention group. Both groups lost the same percentage of weight after the intervention (P = 0.908). The total percentage of weight loss from baseline to follow-up was higher in the control group (P = 0.019). Oral care was not well accepted and the prevalence of plaque did not change. Conclusion: It is possible to improve nutrition and function in elderly nursing-home residents by means of a multifaceted intervention consisting of chocolate, homemade supplements, group exercise, and oral care. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number11-12
Pages (from-to)1073-1080
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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