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Open Access Study protocol

Study protocol: follow-up home visits with nutrition: a randomised controlled trial

Anne Marie Beck12*, Stine Kjær2, Birthe S Hansen2, Rikke L Storm2 and Kirsten Thal-Jantzen2

Author Affiliations

1 EFFECT, University Hospital Herlev, Herlev Ringvej, DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark

2 Department of Human of Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen Rolighedsvej 30, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

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BMC Geriatrics 2011, 11:90  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-11-90

Published: 28 December 2011

Abstract

Background

Geriatric patients are at high risk of re-admission after discharge. Pre-existing nutritional risk amongst these patients is of primary concern, with former nutritional intervention studies being largely ineffective. None of these studies has included individual dietary counselling by a registered dietician or has considered competing medical conditions in the participants. A former randomised study has shown that comprehensive discharge follow-up in geriatric patients homes by general practitioners and district nurses was effective in reducing the re-admission risk in the intervention group compared to the control group. That study did not include a nutritional intervention. The purpose of this study is to assess the combined benefits of an intervention consisting of discharge follow-up in geriatric patients' home by a general practitioner and a registered dietician.

Methods/design

This single-blind randomised controlled study, will recruit 160 hospitalised geriatric medical patients (65+ y) at nutritional risk. Participants will be randomly allocated to receive in their homes, either 12 weeks individualised nutritional counselling by a registered dietician complemented with follow-up by general practitioners or a 12 weeks follow-up by general practitioners alone.

Discussion

This trial is the first of its kind to provide individual nutritional intervention combined with follow-up by general practitioner as an intervention to reduce risk of re-admission after discharge among geriatric medical patients. The results will hopefully help to guide the development of more effective rehabilitation programs following hospital admissions, which may ultimately lead to reduced health care costs, and improvement in mobility, independence and quality of life for geriatric patients at nutritional risk.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov 2010 NCT01249716