bioimpedance analysis, brain injuries, GLIM criteria, malnutrition, nursing, nursing research, nutritional status, rehabilitation, stroke, weight loss



  1. Aadal, Lena
  2. Holst, Mette
  3. Rasmussen, Henrik Hojgaard
  4. Nielsen, Jorgen Feldbaek
  5. Odgaard, Lene


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Malnutrition is associated with high rates of complication, longer hospital stays, and increased morbidity and mortality. Malnutrition defined as undernutrition is common in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI); however, estimates vary remarkably. This study aimed to describe malnutrition at admission and after 4 weeks of subacute inpatient neurorehabilitation in patients with ABI using the new global consensus definition of malnutrition. METHODS: One hundred thirty-three patients with moderate to severe ABI consecutively admitted to a specialized neurorehabilitation hospital within a period of 4 months were screened for inclusion, of which 92 were included. Malnutrition was defined as at least 1 phenotypic criterion (weight loss, low body mass index, low muscle mass) and at least 1 etiologic criterion (reduced food intake, inflammation). Malnutrition on admission and after 4 weeks was compared using the McNemar test. RESULTS: The proportion of patients with malnutrition at admission was 42%, with more men (46%) than women (36%) fulfilling the criteria for malnutrition. The most frequent phenotypic and etiologic criteria were weight loss (56%) and inflammation (74%), respectively. During the 4 weeks of rehabilitation, the proportion of male patients fulfilling the individual criteria "weight loss" (difference, -21.4%) and "inflammation" (difference, -18.9%) decreased significantly; "low muscle mass" decreased borderline significant (difference, -8.9%), whereas "low body mass index" did not change. The proportion of female patients fulfilling individual criteria for malnutrition was stable or increased nonsignificantly. CONCLUSION: Malnutrition was common at admission to neurorehabilitation in patients with moderate to severe ABI, with more men than women fulfilling the criteria for malnutrition. The nutritional status improved after 4 weeks of rehabilitation in male patients, whereas it was largely unchanged in female patients. The results provide the basis for monitoring high-quality nutritional nursing care.