In 2013 a nutritional research study was initiated on a general medical ward at Landssjúkrahúsið – the National Hospital of Faroe Islands. Did you know that Faroe Islands consists of 18 islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean? It's the home of around 48.000 people and 70.000 sheep. Voted the best islands destination in 2011 by the National Geographic Traveller. Authentic, unspoilt - and likely to remain so! Read more about the country by clicking here.
This is the first study to explore the prevalence of malnutrition in Faroe Islands. Studies have shown that the prevalence of disease related malnutrition is high; many patients do not meet individual nutritional requirements while hospitalized. This study evaluates whether an improved food service including an increase in protein and energy density has any effect on nutritional status of hospitalized patients.
The project is a study of routine care versus improved nutritional service. In 2013 we measured weight, handgrip and skinfold thickness in 100 patients receiving standard food service (controls), and in 2014 we will include 100 patients receiving improved food service (intervention group). Data collection is made at hospital admission and at discharge, provided the patient meets the length of stay criteria of minimum 3 days. Once a week measurements are being made in patients that have longer hospital stays. The primary aim of the study is to investigate if improved and protein enriched hospital foods at a general medical ward has an effect on patients weight maintenance and handgrip strength during hospitalization.
Two sub studies
During the project period two other studies have been conducted simultaneously at the same department, in order to shed some light on the circumstances regarding the patients nutritional status.
The first is a study of food waste was conducted together with an evaluation of the portion sizes traditionally served at the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands. In conclusion, the portion sizes are too high compared to what the patients normally eat. In total, around one half of the hospital food produced by the kitchen was being wasted. The results are presented in this poster from an internal researchers day in May 2014. The plan is to repeat the food waste study in the fall 2014.
The other one is a patients satisfaction survey involving only nutritional aspects. At 10 randomly selected days all hospitalized patients (> 1 days of admittance) in one medical ward were included. A total of 31 patients (54% cancer) were included. Included in the survey was a question on self reported food intake. In total, 69% of the patients (n=31) reported a food intake lower than normal and 93% of the included cancer patients (n=16). In conclusion, the proportion of patients with a lower than normal food intake was surprisingly high and we need to act on these findings. The results from the survey are presented in this abstract and the poster presented at the ESPEN congress 2014.
For our Danish audience, this poster from 2013 gives an overview of the overall resarch study (Danish).
Any questions regarding the main nutritional study, the food waste study or the patients satisfaction survey can be directed to project coordinator, MSc Poula Patursson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
/Poula Patursson, verkætlanarsamskipari