Clinical Science of Nutrition
Original Article

Earlier consultation of patients to the nutrition support unit is associated with lowers length of hospital stay

1.

Department of Diet and Nutrition, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

2.

Department of Intensive Care Unit, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

3.

Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

4.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

5.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

6.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of Health Science Turkey, Konya Training and Research Hospital, Konya, Turkey

Clin Sci Nutr 2020; 2: 68-73
DOI: 10.5152/ClinSciNutr.2020.1000
Read: 42 Downloads: 14 Published: 18 February 2021

Objective: Owing to the increasing awareness regarding malnutrition, the number of nutrition support units has increased. However, given that a limited number of healthcare professionals work in the field of malnutrition area, strategies to increase the number of these healthcare professionals are warranted. To investigate the relationship between length of hospital stay (LOS) and the consultation time, defined as the duration between hospitalization and consultation to the nutrition support team.

Methods: Total 337 patients who consulted our team and were given enteral and/or parenteral nutritional support were enrolled. General characteristics, reasons for admission, consultation time, nutritional support method, and LOS were examined. The correlation between LOS and consultation time was investigated. Factors that were independently associated with the LOS were analyzed using a linear regression analysis model.

Results: The median patient age was 76 y (18–95 y); 53.7% of them were men, and 49.3% had at least one co-morbidity. The wards from which the patients consulted our team were intensive care (61.4%), non-surgical (32.6%), and surgical (5.9%) units. Further, 78% of the patients were at nutritional risk at the time of admission. The median LOS was 28 d (0–261 d). The median consultation time was 8 d (0–112 d). There was a significant, moderate, positive correlation between consultation time and LOS (r=0.531; p<0.001). Pressure ulcer, consultation time, nutritional risk, parenteral nutrition, and gastrostomy were independent factors associated with the LOS in the linear regression analysis model.

Conclusion: Early detection and management of malnutrition in hospitalized patients may offer benefit in terms of LOS. Our study showed that the earlier the patients are consulted by the nutrition support team, the lower is their LOS and vice versa.

Cite this article as: Yılmaz D, Türkoğlu M, Cüce H, Eğilmez Aİ, Güvercin G, Gönülalan G, et al. Earlier consultation of patients to the nutrition support unit is associated with lowers length of hospital stay. Clin Sci Nutr 2020; 2(2): 68-73.

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