Enhancing nutritional care with egg white supplementation on serum albumin level for home-based bed-ridden elderly patients
Background: Low serum albumin levels are one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in humans, particularly in older bed-ridden patients. Egg whites contains all the essential amino acids required, and it has many beneficial effects on the body. Supplementation with an egg white formula diet is expected to improve nutritional status and increase levels of serum albumin.
Objective: This research aimed to investigate the effects of the egg white formula diet (EWFD) supplement on serum albumin levels in bed-ridden elderly patients with nasogastric tube feeding at home.
Methods: The experiment was designed as a quasi-experimental study with one single-sample group in 25 bed-ridden elderly patients who are > 60 years old, and were purposefully selected from a district in a Province in Southern Thailand. The experiment was divided into 2 periods (the control and experimental). The control period covered the first 8 weeks where the caregivers provided the usual care and administered the commercial liquid formula to the bed-ridden elderly subjects. The experimental period covered the following 8 weeks, where the caregivers provided the usual care, commercial liquid formula, and EWFD supplementation. Demographic data was collected using a data assessment form. The effect of EWFD supplement on blood albumin levels in the bed-ridden elderly persons were measured at baseline (T0), control (T8), and experimental period (T16).
Results: Serum albumin levels at T0 in subjects who received the usual care program was an average of 3.46±0.35 g/dL. The average serum albumin level at the control period (T8) was 3.56±0.44 g/dL, while after the experiment (feeding including egg white for 8 weeks) was 3.72±0.45 g/dL. The serum albumin levels significantly increased compared to the control and experimental periods (p= 0.042)
Conclusion: Enhancing nutritional care through egg white supplementation improved the serum albumin levels in bed-ridden elderly patients at home. It is therefore recommended that the longitudinal study design should be implemented to monitor and maintain the serum albumin, which consequently promotes the patients’ nutritional status.
Keywords: nutritional status; bed-ridden elderly; nasogastric tube feeding; bed-ridden; egg white; serum albumin; muscle mass
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