Management of malnutrition in geriatric hospital units in Germany

Beitrag in einer Fachzeitschrift

Details zur Publikation

Autorinnen und Autoren: Smoliner C, Volkert D, Wirth R
Zeitschrift: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2013
Band: 46
Heftnummer: 1
Seitenbereich: 48-+
ISSN: 0948-6704


Elderly hospitalized patients have a high risk for developing malnutrition. The causes for an impaired nutritional status in old age are various and the impact is far-reaching. Malnutrition is a comorbidity that is well treatable and various studies show the favorable effect of nutrition therapy on nutritional status and prognosis. In the past few years, several guidelines have been developed to improve nutritional management and to ensure standardized procedures to identify patients at nutritional risk who will benefit from nutrition therapy. However, it is still not clear to what extent nutrition management has been implemented in geriatric wards in Germany.This survey is intended to give an overview on the situation of the current diagnosis and therapy of malnutrition and nutritional management in geriatric hospital units for acute and rehabilitative care.In 2011, the task force of the German Geriatric Society ("Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Geriatrie", DGG) developed a questionnaire which was sent out to 272 directors of geriatric hospital and rehabilitational units. Included were questions regarding the size and staffing of the hospital and wards, food provision, diagnosis and therapy of malnutrition, as well as communication of malnutrition and nutrition therapy in the doctor's letter.A total of 38% of the questioned units answered. The following information was compiled: 31% of the geriatric facilities employed a doctor with training in clinical nutrition, 42% employ dieticians or nutritional scientists, and 90% speech and language pathologists. In 36% of the wards, a so-called geriatric menu is offered (small portions, rich in energy and/or protein, easy to chew). In 89% of the wards, snacks are available between meals. Diagnosis of malnutrition is mainly done by evaluation of weight and BMI. Validated and established screening tools are only used in 40% of the geriatric wards. Food records are carried out in 64% of the units when needed. Diagnosed malnutrition and nutrition therapy are underreported in the doctor's letter. Dental care beyond emergency care is rarely provided in 67% of wards and never in 23% of units.The use of validated screening instruments is clearly underrepresented and therapy algorithms are rarely implemented in German geriatric hospital units. There are a variety of nutrition interventions available, but it is unclear how patients at nutritional risk are identified. The data on the efficacy of nutrition therapy in elderly patients are very convincing and the integration of nutrition screening in the basic geriatric assessment seems sensible. The establishment of standardized procedures for nutrition intervention and therapy recommendations in the doctor's letter would be useful to ensure sustainability of nutrition therapy.

FAU-Autorinnen und Autoren / FAU-Herausgeberinnen und Herausgeber

Volkert, Dorothee Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Professur für Klinische Ernährung im Alter

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St.-Marien-Hospital Borken


Smoliner, C., Volkert, D., & Wirth, R. (2013). Management of malnutrition in geriatric hospital units in Germany. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 46(1), 48-+.

Smoliner, C., Dorothee Volkert, and Rainer Wirth. "Management of malnutrition in geriatric hospital units in Germany." Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 46.1 (2013): 48-+.


Zuletzt aktualisiert 2018-28-10 um 04:08