Author(s): Savina C, Donini LM, Anzivino R, De Felice MR, De Bernardini L,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Frail elderly people, living in nursing homes, usually show a malnutrition state caused by an increased need of energy or an inadequate food intake. Among the causes leading to reduction of food intake in elderly people and consequently to malnutrition, is the loss of appetite, often marker of depression and alterations of taste and smell perception. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research is to verify the application of the AHSP Questionnaire and relate its score to nutritional state of a frail elderly population hospitalized in a geriatric rehabilitation care. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: All patients of the "3rd Rehabilitation Department" of the Istituto Geriatrico "Villa delle Querce" Nemi (Rome-Italy). METHODS: Informations, number and type of medical conditions, prescribed drugs, other parameters that can affect taste, smell, hunger and nutritional status, mood, cognitive and nutritional status have been collected from the clinical folders. To assess appetite, hunger smell and taste perception had been submitted the AHSP Questionnaire. RESULTS: The AHSP Questionnaire had been administered only to 44 of the 103 patients present at the survey because of the high prevalence of cognitive impairment. AHSP score is lower in presence of malnutrition assessed with MNA (Mini Nutritional Assessment). MNA, expressed as proportional score, seems to present a clear correlation with AHSP's (r=0.59; p=0.000). CONCLUSION: The results achieved show the scarce adaptability of the AHSP Questionnaire to frail elderly people living in geriatric rehabilitation care. MNA is at the moment the most reliable tool to single out dietary deficiency on geriatrics population.
This article was published in J Nutr Health Aging
and referenced in Journal of Food Processing & Technology