Background Falls may result in injury, loss of independence and higher healthcare costs. The aim of this study was to examine the nutritional status of patients who had fallen in an acute care setting.
Methods Forty-nine patients who had experienced a fall while admitted at an Australian private hospital participated in the study (age: 71.2 (SD 14.1) years; 21 male: 28 female). Nutritional status was assessed using subjective global assessment. Protein and energy intake was determined by dietary history and analysed using Australian computerised food composition data.
Results According to subjective global assessment, 27 patients were well nourished and 22 malnourished (21 moderately, one severely malnourished). Well nourished fallers had significantly higher BMI (mean difference 3.7 kg/m(2), CI: 1.2-6.2), dietary protein (mean difference 19.8 g, CI: 2.0-37.5) and energy intake (mean difference 1751 kJ, CI: 332-3170) compared to malnourished fallers. There was no difference in severity of falls based on nutritional status, weight or BMI.
Conclusions There was a high prevalence of malnutrition and poor intake in this sample of patients who had fallen in hospital. Nutrition assessment and intervention for patients who have fallen in the acute care setting should be considered.