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Medical stabilization of adolescents with nutritional insufficiency: a clinical care path

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Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Purpose

Nutritional insufficiency (NI) is a potential consequence of restrictive eating disorders. NI patients often require hospitalization for refeeding to restore medical stability and prevent complications such as refeeding syndrome. Limited information is available on the optimal approach to refeeding. In this study, we describe an inpatient NI care path and compare treatment outcomes at an academic medical center and a community hospital.

Methods

A retrospective chart review was conducted on inpatients treated using a standardized NI care path at either the academic site, from August 2012 to July 2013 (n = 51), or the community site, from August 2013 to July 2014 (n = 39). Demographic information, eating disorder history, and treatment variables were recorded for each patient. Data were compared using the Kruskal–Wallis test and Fisher’s exact test.

Results

Patients admitted to the community site had shorter hospital stays than patients admitted to the academic site (IQR 2–4 vs. 2–7 days, p = 0.03). All patients were discharged in <14 days with a median stay of 3 days. The median initial calorie prescription was 2200 calories for both groups. No clinical cases of refeeding syndrome occurred, with only one patient developing hypophosphatemia during refeeding.

Conclusions

A standardized care path with a higher-calorie intervention allows for short-term hospitalization of NI patients without increasing the risk of refeeding syndrome, regardless of treatment site. This study demonstrates the efficiency and safety of treating NI patients on a regular medical floor at a community hospital.

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Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sarah E. Strandjord.

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Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Cleveland Clinic Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

Informed consent was waived due to the retrospective design of the study and the minimal risk to subjects.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplement 1

Epic order set for nutritional insufficiency care path (DOCX 183 kb)

Supplement 2

Nutritional insufficiency care path nursing protocol (DOC 35 kb)

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Strandjord, S.E., Sieke, E.H., Richmond, M. et al. Medical stabilization of adolescents with nutritional insufficiency: a clinical care path. Eat Weight Disord 21, 403–410 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-015-0245-5

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