A nutritional intervention program improves the nutritional status of geriatric patients at nutritional risk—a randomized controlled trial

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To investigate the effect of a nutrition intervention program for geriatric nutritional at-risk patients.


A randomized controlled trial.


Department of geriatric medicine in a university hospital and in the primary healthcare sector, Copenhagen.


Geriatric patients (N = 144) at nutritional risk.


The intervention consisted of an individual dietary plan for home, including pre-discharge advice on nutritional intake, combined with three follow-up visits after discharge (one, four, and eight weeks).

Main measures:

Change in body weight, Barthel Index, hand-grip strength and self-rated health from baseline (discharge) to three months after discharge, readmission, and mortality (90 and 120 days).


The mean (SD) age in total sample was 87.2 (6.2) years. Sample size in the intervention group (IG) was N = 72, and in the control group (CG), N = 72. IG had a mean (SD) weight gain of 0.9 (4.2) kg compared to a weight loss of 0.8 (3.6) kg in the CG (P = 0.032). In addition, an improvement in self-rated health was seen in the IG compared to CG (IG: 23 (47%) vs. CG: 12 (24%); P = 0.021). No significant difference between groups was found in functional status, mortality, or readmission rates.


An individual dietary plan based on everyday food, combined with three follow-up visits (one, four, and eight weeks) after discharge, led to an improvement in nutritional status and self-rated health in geriatric patients.

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