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Ir Med J. 2007 May;100(5):473-5.

Compliance of acute and long stay geriatric patients with nutritional supplementation.

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St. Mary's Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin.



Nutritional supplements are prescribed to improve nutritional status, and reduce hospital stays in manourised hospital patients. Clinical benefits are dependant on compliance, the level of which remains unclear.


To assess compliance levels with oral nutritional supplementation and determine methods to improve compliance.


Compliance was observed over 10 days by measuring total supplements prescribed and weighing wastage remaining after use. Areas for improvement were identified and implemented for 6 months. Specifically, a distinct supplement administration round was established and those patients requiring assistance with supplement consumption were identified with signage above their beds. Compliance was re-assessed in a sub sample of patients.


Thirty seven elderly patients (mean age 85 years; 57% female) prescribed nutritional supplements were studied. Mean compliance was significantly greater in males than females (85.7% vs 74%) and acute wards compared to longstay (89.5% vs. 74.2 Compliance with supplements was significantly greater following intervention (mean 74.2% vs. 93%, p < 0.0001).


Compliance with nutritional supplementation is variable among institutionalized geriatric patients. Timing of supplementation dispensation and improving staff vigilance can positively affect compliance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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