Background: Thirteen percent of the United States (U.S.) population is over 65 years of age and up to 50% are malnourished; therefore, seniors were chosen as the subjects for this research study.
Objective: To identify malnutrition in older adults using the Nutrition Focused Physical Examination (NFPE), and to compare the results to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics parameters for assessment of nutritional status.
Design: Each senior voluntarily completed a head-to-toe NFPE, 24-hour diet recall, and anthropomorphic measures were also taken. Information was later analyzed and results were given to each participant.
Participants/setting: Seniors from the Senior Center in Arkadelphia, Arkansas volunteered for the study in the summer of 2018.
Main outcome measures: The NFPE was used to identify areas of malnutrition and 24-hour diet recall information was assessed in comparison to the DRI.
Statistical analyses performed: Results were calculated using Nutritionist Pro®, Excel® and SPSS®.
Results: Sixty-four percent had subcutaneous fat loss in the orbital region, 40% in the upper arm region, and 27% and 10% in the thoracic and lumbar region respectively. Sixty-seven percent had muscle loss in the temple region, 37% in the clavicle bone region, 17% in the scapular bone region, and 70% in the dorsal hand. Of the 30 subjects participating in the study, 93% had some form of malnutrition. Nutrient analysis showed significant correlation between age and protein, carbohydrate, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, sodium, iron and kcalories consumed. Intake of potassium, and calcium were significantly below the DRI for both genders. Sodium intake was significantly above the DRI for both genders.
Conclusion: The NFPE was successful in identifying malnutrition in a sample of elderly subjects as confirmed by the low nutrient intake levels reported. However, further research is needed to quantitatively assess the validity and reliability of the NFPE.
Patrick, Kaycee; Goodroe, Anna Claire; and Brech, Detri, "Assessment of Nutrition Status of Adults Using the Nutrition Focused Physical Examination" (2018). Dietetics and Nutrition Class Publications. 6.