Improving nutritional discharge planning and follow up in older medical inpatients: Hospital to Home Outreach for Malnourished Elders

Adrienne M. Young*, Alison M. Mudge, Merrilyn D. Banks, Lauren Rogers, Kristen Demedio, Elisabeth Isenring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: Nutritional decline during and after acute hospitalisation is common amongst older people. This quality improvement initiative aimed to introduce a dietitian-led discharge planning and follow-up program (Hospital to Home Outreach for Malnourished Elders, HHOME) at two hospitals within usual resources to improve nutritional and functional recovery. 

Methods: Prospective pre-post evaluation design was used. Medical patients aged 65+ years at-risk of malnutrition and discharged to independent living were eligible. Participants receiving nutrition discharge planning and dietetic telephone follow up for four weeks post-discharge ('HHOME') were compared to usual care ('pre-HHOME'). Nutritional (weight and mini nutritional assessment (MNA)), functional (gait speed, handgrip strength and modified Barthel index) and assessment of quality of life-6D (AQoL-6D) outcomes were measured on discharge and six weeks later. 

Results: At six weeks, no significant difference in nutritional status was observed between pre-HHOME (n=39) and HHOME cohorts, although the HHOME cohort on average maintained weight while pre-HHOME cohort lost weight (0.4±2.9 kg vs -1.0±3.7 kg, P=0.060). Greater improvement in gait speed was seen in HHOME group (+0.24±0.27 vs +0.11±0.22, P=0.046) with no other significant outcome improvements. Across both cohorts, half were readmitted to hospital and 10% died within 12weeks post-discharge. 

Conclusions: The nutritional discharge planning and dietetic follow up provided to older community-living malnourished patients made a small impact on nutritional and functional parameters but clinical outcomes remained poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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