Risk factors associated with malnutrition in older adults living in Italian nursing homes: A cross-sectional study

Carla Papparotto, Ettore Bidoli, Alvisa Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Malnutrition is a significant problem among older adults living in nursing homes: Malnourished residents are at increased risk of hospitalization and mortality. Multiple factors determine malnutrition, and the extant literature has focused attention on individual factors such as aging, sex, and dependence in activities of daily living. However, little evidence is available on factors influenced by nursing care. Exploring the relationship between the nutritional status of nursing home residents and certain individual factors, including those potentially influenced by nursing care, was the aim of this cross-sectional study. A total of 186 nursing home residents was enrolled in the study; in addition, 18 nurses were involved in the data collection process. Twenty-one percent of the residents had an adequate nutritional status, 43% were at risk of malnutrition, and 36% were malnourished. Multivariate analysis revealed that those independent factors associated with malnutrition, once adjusted for age, sex, and dependence in activities of daily living, were: having had a stroke, being dependent in activities of daily living, eating half or less of food provided at mealtimes, and having their weight checked only every 3 months or longer. Nursing care projects may be effective in reducing the risk of malnutrition among nursing home residents. However, further research is needed to develop knowledge of the factors associated with malnutrition and those influenced by care delivered in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in gerontological nursing
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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