Publication Details

This article was orignally published as Walton K, Williams P, Tapsell L & Batterham M, Rehabilitation inpatients are not meeting their energy and protein needs, e-SPEN - the Europoean Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007.


Background & aims: This study aimed to determine the amounts of energy and protein required, ordered and consumed daily by long stay rehabilitation inpatients. Methods: A quantitative, weighed plate waste study. Thirty inpatients (16 females, 14 males; mean age 79.2 years; mean length of stay 52 days) from three rehabilitation hospitals in the Illawarra region of Australia. Data were collected over two days, including nutrition assessment details and weighed plate waste. Daily energy and protein requirements, amounts ordered and consumed were the outcome measures. Statistical analyses included paired t-tests, Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests and Spearman correlations. Results: Although adequate amounts of energy and protein were provided, significantly less was consumed than was required or ordered (p<0.05). Fifty-seven percent of the supplements were wasted, although they contributed 21.5% of energy and 20.6% of protein to the intakes of those who were prescribed them. Conclusions: Promising areas for interventions to improve intakes include the use of targeted supplement usage, food fortification, designated ward feeding assistants and ongoing nutrition surveillance.



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