A prospective study identifying a change in energy and protein intake of older adults during inpatient rehabilitation

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Understanding older patients’ dietary intake patterns may improve the timing of strategies to address hospital malnutrition. The aims of this study were to explore longitudinally the change in daily energy (kJ/day) and protein (g/day) intake, and associated factors. Data were derived using a 5-point scale to visually estimate plate waste, and known nutrient composition data. Analyses determined the change in intake between admission and day 14, and admission, day 14 and day 28, respectively. Data were available for 39 participants between admission and day 14 (median (interquartile range) age 82 (78-87) years; 54% male) and 12 participants between admission, day 14 and day 28 (median (IQR) age 79 (69-84) years; 58% male). From admission to day 14 there was a significant increase in the mean (SD) daily intake of energy (6177 (1879) kJ/day vs. 7213 (1903), p < 0.001) and protein (63.7 (23) g/day vs. 76.4 (23.0) g/day, p = 0.003) but no change from admission to day 14 to day 28. There was a significant inverse relationship between amount consumed at admission and change in intake. Variability in elderly patients’ intake over time has implications for the timing of nutritional care and data collection in research studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number453
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Elderly
  • Energy intake
  • Food consumption patterns
  • Malnutrition
  • Protein intake
  • Rehabilitation

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