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A cluster randomised feasibility trial evaluating nutritional interventions in the treatment of malnutrition in care home adult residents

Stow, Ruth; Ives, Natalie; Smith, Christina; Rick, Caroline; Rushton, Alison; (2015) A cluster randomised feasibility trial evaluating nutritional interventions in the treatment of malnutrition in care home adult residents. Trials , 16 , Article 433. 10.1186/s13063-015-0952-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) predisposes individuals to disease, delays recovery from illness and reduces quality of life. Care home residents in the United Kingdom are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 30 to 42 % at risk. Evidence for nutritional interventions to address PEM in the care home setting is lacking. Widely used techniques include food-based intervention and/or the use of prescribed oral nutritional supplements. To define outcomes and optimise the design for an adequately powered definitive trial to compare the efficacy of established nutritional interventions in this setting, a cluster randomised feasibility trial with a 6-month intervention was undertaken.// Methods: Care home residents with or at risk of malnutrition were identified across six UK care home sites from September to December 2013. Homes were cluster randomised to standard care (SC), food-based intervention (FB) or oral nutritional supplement intervention (ONS), for 6 months. Key outcomes were trial feasibility and the acceptability of design, allocated interventions and outcome assessments. Anthropometry, dietary intake, healthcare resource usage and participant-reported outcome measures were assessed at baseline and at 3 and 6 months.// Results: All six care homes approached were recruited and retained. Of the 110 residents at risk of malnutrition, 85 % entered the trial, and 68 % completed the 6-month intervention. Pre-specified success criteria for feasibility were met for recruitment and retention, intervention acceptability (resident compliance ≥60 %) and measurement of weight, body mass index (BMI), mid-upper arm circumference and dietary intake (data completeness >80 %). Measurement of handgrip strength and triceps skinfold thickness was not found to be feasible in this population. The 95 % confidence interval (CI) data suggested sensitivity to change in dietary intake for weight, BMI and energy intake between baseline and 3 months when each intervention (FB and ONS) was compared with SC.// Conclusions: A definitive trial comparing the efficacy of nutritional support interventions in increasing weight and BMI in malnourished care home residents can be conducted. However, whilst the design was feasible, this trial has highlighted the lack of clinically and patient-relevant outcome measures that are appropriate for use in this setting for both research and clinical practice. In particular, this trial identified a need for a more simple measure of functional status, which considers the limitations of functional tests in the care home population.// Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN38047922, Date assigned: 22 April 2014.

Type: Article
Title: A cluster randomised feasibility trial evaluating nutritional interventions in the treatment of malnutrition in care home adult residents
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-015-0952-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-015-0952-2
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Stow et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: malnutrition, nutrition support, oral nutritional supplements, sip feeds, care homes, Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), elderly, nutritional intervention, nutritional risk
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10174478
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