A controlled trial of sip-feed supplements in elderly orthopaedic patients
Williams, C. M., Driver, L. T., Older, J. and Dickerson, J. W. T. (1989) A controlled trial of sip-feed supplements in elderly orthopaedic patients. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 43 (4). pp. 267-274. ISSN 0954-3007
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The potential nutritional and clinical benefits of sip-feed supplements were investigated by means of a controlled trial in elderly female patients admitted for orthopaedic surgery. A nutritional risk assessment procedure (Nutritional Risk Questionnaire, NRQ) was used to identify patients who might benefit from supplementation. Patients identified as high risk who did not receive supplements showed significant losses in triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) and mid-upper arm muscle circumference (MUAMC) measurements during hospitalization. Such changes were not observed in high-risk supplemented patients, but significant losses of MUAMC were also recorded in a group of patients who failed to comply with the supplement. No differences in biochemical parameters, muscle function, or clinical outcome were observed between supplemented and unsupplemented and non-compliant patients. The problems of poor compliance to sip-feed supplements and failure to observe clinical benefit in supplemented patients are discussed.