The study highlights the comparison of nutritional status and medical and social attributes of older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were hospitalized at Orebro University Hospital ward in Sweden for respiratory medicine. It aims to assess the risk of patients for malnutrition. The collection of data involved the use of Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and measurement of lung function and anthropometry of patients. Data for living conditions of patients were also employed, in addition to co-morbidity, diagnosis of COPD, and length of stay in the hospital. Twenty-four out of 50 patients participated in the study were identified malnourished and at risk for malnutrition. Most of the patients were widowers or widow and some have lived as single during their entire life. The study confirms that the common problem among hospitalized older patients with COPD was poor nutrition. It also reports that social attributes of patients showing reliance in daily life were remarkably more frequent in patients identified as malnourished. About 33 percent of malnourished patients died during the study illustrating the association between nutritional status, COPD, and mortality.
The study is very useful because it highlights a growing number of older patients with COPD who need medical care and the role of nutrition in older people who are sick or in need of assistance in their daily lives. It is very relevant to clinical practice because it supports the need to perform early nutritional status assessment and interventions for older COPD patients and provides knowledge and insights into the risks of poor nutritional status among patients. The study also points out the important role of registered nurses in being aware of patients who need special kinds of attention and treatment because they can easily observe the patients’ body weight, particularly depletion in muscles. The assessment of nutritional status of COPD patients must be required in the nursing care practice of all health care facilities in order to immediately manage the patients’ condition and to provide nursing support.
Odencrants, S., Ehnfors, M. & Ehrenberg, A. (2008). Nutritional status and patient
characteristics for hospitalized older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17, 1771-1778.