Functional training and timed nutrition intervention in infectious medical patients

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Bed rest and decreased nutrition intake in hospitalized patients have been shown to impair the clinical course negatively, including reduced function after hospital stay. Recent reviews have shown that early physical rehabilitation for acute hospitalized old adults leads to functional benefits. The aim of our study was to assess whether it was possible to influence nutrition intake, loss of muscle function and quality of life, with an evidence-based intervention in acutely ill hospitalized infectious medical patients.


For potentially frail patients, functional training three times weekly, and an individually adjusted self-training program for use 1-2 times daily, was given by a physiotherapist. Oral nutritional supplement with 5-10 g whey protein was timed straight after training 2 times daily, and dietetic advice was provided. A historical control group was used to compare nutrition intake. Functional measures and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were done on admission and discharge.


The study included 59 patients in the intervention group. Historic control included 145. Energy and protein intake increased by 3053 kJ (P<0.001) and 28 g of protein (P<0.001), compared with historic controls. Functional parameters (De Mortons Mobility Index (DEMMI), Timed Up and Go and the 30-s chair test) and HRQoL improved significantly for the overall group, most remarkably in patients >70 years of age, from hospitalization to discharge.


The intervention with dietician and timed oral supplement to functional training by physiotherapist in hospitalized infectious medical patients improved function as well as nutrition intake and HRQoL.

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