Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Risk factors associated with predicting involuntary weight loss among elderly nursing home residents Public Deposited

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  • The purposes of this study were to investigate patterns and causes of weight loss among elderly long-term care residents and to examine the relationship between weight changes and the nursing home survival. The study was designed to accomplish five objectives: 1) to examine the rate and degree of the first involuntary weight loss; 2) to describe patterns of weight changes over a maximum of forty-two months; 3) to explore characteristics influencing weight changes during nursing home residency; 4) to investigate risk factors associated with predicting involuntary weight loss; and 5) to examine weight changes with survival time in the nursing home. A retrospective medical record review was conducted among 56 deceased residents in one nursing home. Eligible subjects had to be at least 60 years old, reside in the nursing home for at least three months, and have had no voluntary weight loss. Descriptive statistics were used to describe subjects' characteristics and weight change. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine weight loss associations with risk factors. Relationship between weight changes and survival time in the nursing home was examined with Pearson's correlations. Weight loss was variable among and within subjects with mean loss from admission to death of 2.44 pounds (±13.86). Initial losses were most frequently (41%) documented in the first quarter and were most often (49%) moderate (4.5-7.5%). Having a low percent ideal body weight at admission was negatively associated with weight loss (p-value = 0.004). Receiving a therapeutic diet upon admission (p-value = 0.000), the presence/progression of chronic diseases at death (p-value = 0.002), a new diagnosis of acute/infectious disease at death (p-value = 0.021), and female gender (p-value = 0.044) were significant predictors for weight loss over nursing home stay. No correlation between weight changes and survival time was found. In overall conclusion, weight change patterns are unpredictable. Weight loss and its risk factors are not constant, so it is difficult to analyze relationships among causes of weight loss, indicating the need for more longitudinal studies of weight loss among this vulnerable population.
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