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Title: An investigation into the prevalence and identification of malnutrition in hospitalised children
Author: Carey , Aoife
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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Malnutrition can be defined as a state of deficiency, excess or imbalance of nutrition which has an adverse effect on bodily function, composition or clinical outcome. Despite justifiable concerns regarding the increasing prevalence of over-nutrition in children, under-nutrition remains an underlying issue in paediatric hospitals. Under-nutrition is commonly seen in hospitalised patients as a result of decreased dietary intake, an inability to absorb nutrients or increased metabolic requirements. Apart from the well-recognised detrimental metabolic and clinical consequences, the long term effects of under-nutrition on foetal, infant and childhood growth have been acknowledged to predispose a child to an increased risk of chronic disease in adulthood. General estimates suggest that 9-47% of hospitalised children are at risk of under nutrition. Apart from certain disease states known to predispose to under-nutrition, such as cystic fibrosis, cardiology and oncology conditions, prevalence estimates are highly dependent on the indices used to define under-nutrition. Suggested indices for the assessment of acute under-nutrition include weight-for-height, weight-for-age and BMI-forage, while height-for-age is suggested for the assessment of chronic under-nutrition. At present, there is a lack of universally acceptable criteria by which to define under-nutrition. The recent emergence of paediatric specific nutrition screening tools for use in hospitals, including STAMpĀ© and PYMS in the UK and Strongkids in the Netherlands, has increased interest in under-nutrition in hospitalised children. These tools aim to identify under nutrition in order to initiate effective referral for treatment and thus potentially reduce the detrimental effects on growth and clinical outcomes. Their use in infants, however, has been largely overlooked. This thesis considers the identification and prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalised children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available