OBJECTIVE: Optimizing protein and energy intake by food in nutritional risk patients is difficult. The aim of this study was to improve the ≥75% of energy and protein requirements. We would like to see nurses take on the role of hosting the nutritional-risk patients, including focusing on bringing nutrition to the forefront in the collaboration between nurses and patients.
METHODS: This was an interventional study that included patients admitted to the Departments of Infectious Diseases, Hematology, and Heart-Lung Surgery in a baseline and follow-up investigation. It included 24-h food intake registrations (FRs) for 3 d consecutively, a questionnaire, and a semistructured patient interview. The interventions included in this study helped to improve the eating environment and serving, integrated nutrition into the nurse-patient welcome interview, and targeted individual preferences and challenges for eating.
RESULTS: The study comprised 76 24-h FRs at baseline and 108 FRs at follow-up. The total group had improved food intake; 75% of individual energy requirements were met by (67.6% vs. 40%; P = 0.036) and the Heart-Lung Surgery group (85.7 vs. 38.5; P = 0.036). This was not reflected for protein (NS). Energy intake improved for the entire group, albeit not significantly (P = 0.862). Patients reported being happy with the interventions regarding individualized food serving, nurse communication, and improved meal environments.
CONCLUSION: Only insignificant improvements to overall energy intake were seen in two of the three departments and in the overall group, and no statistical or clinically significant improvements to protein intake were observed. The relative risk of meeting 75% of energy requirements was improved in the overall group and in patients in the Department of Heart-Lung Surgery. This did not include the meeting of protein requirements. Improvements were welcomed by patients and staff. Focus on individualized nutrition from the nursing staff also improved.