Monitoring of Nutrition Therapy
Measuring the Effectiveness of the Nutritional Therapy
Monitoring the patient’s condition is crucial to achieve an optimal outcome and aid recovery. Proper monitoring, through careful documentation and control, can assess the effectiveness of the nutritional therapy. Patient status should be monitored by defined measurements and observations, such as recording of dietary intake, body weight and function and, where appropriate, laboratory parameters (e.g. blood parameters). Results of this monitoring may lead to adaptations, if necessary, of the nutrition therapy plan during the course of the patient’s condition.
Monitoring and Follow-up of Food and Fluid Intake
At least once a week, monitoring and follow-up of nutritional and fluid intake should take place to guarantee effective nutrition therapy. Documenting weight development helps to provide additional insights into the nutritional status of the patient, as can laboratory testing of different blood parameters. Monitoring should be used to determine adequacy of nutrition therapy.
Regular patient monitoring should include:
- Weekly Rescreening: Monitor weight gain and/or loss. In some cases occurrence of edema needs to be considered.
- Daily Nutrition Record: For patients who are administered enteral or parenteral nutrition, a daily nutritional record and fluid protocols should be maintained to monitor energy, protein and fluid intake.
- Laboratory Tests: As appropriate, blood parameters should be monitored, including albumin, transferrin, prealbumin and retinol-binding protein1,2,3
Monitoring of parenteral nutrition in the clinic:3
Determine the Need for Nutritional Supplementation
Results of the food and fluid protocol documentation and blood parameters can enable clinicians to calculate the required nutritional supplementation and fluid substitution needed by the patient.
- 1. Coulston AM, Rock C, Elaine R. Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease. Monsen: Elsevier 2001.
- 2. Kondrup J, Allison SP, Elia M et al. ESPEN Guidelines for Nutrition Screening 2002. Clin Nutr 2003;22:415–421.
- 3. a. b. Austrian Society of Clinical Nutrition (AKE). Recommendations for enteral and parenteral nutrition in adults. Vienna 2008.