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Nutr Hosp. 2013 Jul-Aug;28(4):1286-90. doi: 10.3305/nh.2013.28.4.6479.

[Validation of a method of dispensing nutritional supplements in a tertiary hospital].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Unidad de de Nutrición y Dietética, Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, Tenerife, España.


in English, Spanish


Nutritional supplements are an essential component of the management of hospital hyponutrition, although their costs are high. There exists the need for methods allowing a rational prescription of them.


To analyze the validity of the criteria for dispensing the nutritional supplements (NS) used at our center (by using as a reference the CONUT system).


We retrospectively reviewed the petition formularies of NS sent from the different departments for 15 months (April/2010-June/2011). We analyzed the following variables: petitionary department; pathology; BMI; recent weight loss; decreased intake > 50%; total proteins; albumin; lymphocytes; total cholesterol; and assessment of the hyponutrition level according to the CONUT system. We compared the validity of our dispensing criteria of NS to those of the CONUT system by means of the Kappa coefficient.


We received 524 petitions (34.9/month). Pathologies: infectious (31.1%), tumor (26.1%), postsurgical (19%), others (23.8%). 88.9% of the patients had recent weight loss and 83.4% decreased intake > 50%. BMI: 24.8 ± 7.5 kg/m². Laboratory parameters: albumin 2.6 ± 0.7 g/dL, total proteins 5.7 ± 2.4 g/dL, total cholesterol 152 ± 172 mg/dL, lymphocytes 1,561 ± 1,842/ mm3. Assessment of the hyponutrition level according to the CONUT system: normal (12%), mild hyponutrition (23.1%), moderate (41.6%), severe (23.3%). Adherence to our hospital requisites for the dispensation of NS: none (6.3%), one (33.6%), two (43.1%), all three (17%). We compared the number of requisites to the degree of hyponutrition (CONUT system), yielding a weak agreement index (Kappa = 0.207; p < 0.001). 156 patients (29.8% of all the petitions) received a NS in spite of having a normal nutrition level or mild hyponutrition according to the CONUT system. Most of these commands (116; 74.4%) met just one criterion for dispensing a NS, and in 93.9% of them the reason alleged by the physician was a decreased intake > 50%.


our dispensation method of NS detects a greater percentage of patients susceptible of nutritional supplementation than the CONUT system. The main advantage of our system is the assessment of a decreased intake, which is the main indication for a NS at the hospital setting.

Copyright © AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2013. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

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