INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to evaluate the association of nutritional status and muscle strength measurement results of the patients in the palliative care unit during their 6-month survival.
METHODS: In this prospective observational study, the effects of nutritional status on mortality were evaluated during the 6-month follow-up of patients hospitalized in the palliative care units of Bursa State Hospitals between January 2018 and April 2018. Their handgrip strength was measured by a hand dynamometer, and their subcutaneous adipose tissue was measured by skin-fold calipers. Mini Nutritional Assessment was used to evaluate the sociodemographic characteristics and nutritional status of the patients.
RESULTS: A total of 211 patients aged 73.3±14.6 years treated in the palliative clinic were included in the study, of which 112 (53.1%) were males. The frequency of malnutrition at the beginning of follow-up was 75 (78.1%) in the living group and 108 (93.9%) in the dead group (p=0.001). During the 6-month follow-up period, 115 (54.5%) cases died. The frequency of malnutrition after 6 months was observed in 175 (82.9%) of the entire patients. The average muscle strength of the right and left arms was found to be significantly higher in alive patients than in dead patients [5.0 (0.021.8) kg vs 0.0 (0.010.0), p=0.001].
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Nutritional status and muscle strength may be important in palliative care patients survival. It would be appropriate to promote a balanced diet and physical activity to patients before the need for palliative care develops.