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Weight Loss and Nursing Clinics
Prevalence of Weight Reduction in Nursing Clinics
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Weight Loss & Nursing Clinics

Weight Loss Study Aim
To determine whether nursing clinics that score differently on prevalence of weight loss, according to a Minimum Data Set (MDS) quality indicator, also provide different processes of care related to weight loss.

Weight Loss Study Subjects
Sixteen skilled nursing facilities: 11 nursing clinics in the lower (25th percentile-low prevalence) quartile and five nursing clinics in the upper (75th percentile-high prevalence) quartile on the MDS weight-loss quality indicator. 400 long-term residents.

Weight Loss Study Measurements
Sixteen care processes related to weight loss were defined and operationalized into clinical indicators. Trained research staff conducted measurement of nursing home staff implementation of each care process during assessments on three consecutive 12-hour days (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), which included direct observations during meals, resident interviews, and medical record abstraction using standardized protocols.

Weight Loss Study Results
The prevalence of weight loss was significantly higher in the participants in the upper quartile nursing clinics than in participants in the lower quartile nursing clinics based on MDS and monthly weight data documented in the medical record. nursing clinics with a higher prevalence of weight loss had a significantly larger proportion of residents with risk factors for weight loss, namely low oral food and fluid intake. There were few significant differences on care process measures between low- and high-weight-loss nursing clinics. Staff in low-weight-loss nursing clinics consistently provided verbal prompting and social interaction during meals to a greater proportion of residents, including those most at risk for weight loss.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
The MDS weight-loss quality indicator reflects differences in the prevalence of weight loss between nursing clinics. nursing clinics with a lower prevalence of weight loss have fewer residents at risk for weight loss and staff who provide verbal prompting and social interaction to more residents during meals, but the adequacy and quality of feeding assistance care needs improvement in all nursing clinics.

Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, October 2003, vol. 51, no. 10, pp. 1410-1418(9)

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