A critical appraisal of nutritional intervention studies in malnourished, community dwelling older persons

M. A. E. de van der Schueren, H. A. H. Wijnhoven, H. M. Kruizenga, M. Visser

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34 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND & AIMS: With the rapidly increasing number of malnourished older persons in the community, this review aims to summarize the effects of nutritional intervention studies for this target group.

METHODS: Based on 2 previous reviews (2009, 2011) an update of the literature was performed. Selected were higher quality studies which included malnourished community dwelling older adults who received dietetic counselling and/or oral nutritional supplements.

RESULTS: Ten studies were included. Six studies showed (trends towards) weight gain. Meta-analysis showed a modest effect of the intervention on weight gain, standardized mean difference 0.210 kg (95% CI 0.03-0.40). Effects on other relevant functional and clinical outcomes were inconsistent. Studies were hampered by low sample sizes, low adherence to the interventions, and participants not meeting nutritional requirements.

CONCLUSION: Currently, nutritional intervention studies for malnourished community dwelling older adults show limited effects, which may be caused by methodological shortcomings and participants not meeting treatment goals. High quality studies are eagerly awaited to be able to identify (sub)groups of older persons who are most likely to benefit from nutritional support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1014
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Community
  • Elderly
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Older adults
  • Review

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