OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to determine the correlation between nutrition status and skin integrity in the frail older adult population.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Participants (N = 94) in this cross-sectional study were recruited through convenience sampling from the neurology and geriatrics outpatient department at a regional teaching hospital in Northern Taiwan. Study tools included a Basic Participant Profile Fill-in Sheet, which assesses demographic and exercise habit; the Comorbidity Index; Skin Integrity Evaluation Chart; Mini-Nutritional Assessment–Short Form; and Taiwan International Physical Activity Questionnaire Form. Data were analyzed by independent-samples t tests, χ2 tests, linear regressions, and logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: Significant correlations were found among nutrition status, aging, and exercise habits, as well as between participants’ demographics and their skin integrity. Logistic linear regression showed that the decline of skin integrity can be predicted by nutrition status.
CONCLUSIONS: Exercise programs and a balanced diet should be planned for frail older adults, and their nutrition status should be monitored closely. Those with declining nutrition status should be provided with nutrition supplements. In addition, clinicians should evaluate the skin condition of frail older adults to prevent the development of pressure injuries.
Chia-Te Chen, MSN, NP, RN, is a Nurse Practitioner, Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Heng-Hsin Tung, PhD, NP, RN, is a Professor, School of Nursing and Health Science, National Taipei University, Taiwan. Tao-Hsin Tung, PhD, is a Researcher, Department of Medical Research and Education, and Jong-Chyou Denq, MD, is a neurology physician, Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. The authors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships related to this article. Submitted March 4, 2015; accepted in revised form September 1, 2015.