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Use of fiber instead of laxative treatment in a geriatric hospital to improve the wellbeing of seniors.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Constipation is a common problem in the elderly population, especially in geriatric wards. Laxatives are the most preferred solution but current studies link constipation and laxative use to weight-loss and malnutrition in nursing homes. Dietary fibers also affect stool weight and transit time. So, oat-bran effectiveness in reducing the need for bowel medication and weight-loss for geriatric care patients was examined in a geriatric hospital.

AIM

To determine whether the addition of oat-bran to common oral diet can reduce the use of laxatives and improve the wellbeing and bodyweight of the inhabitants of a long-term-care facility.

METHODS

The study was designed as a controlled blind intervention trial among 30 frail inhabitants of a geriatric hospital aged 57-100 years with laxative use. Including criteria were: oral food intake and laxatives as therapy and excluding criteria were: parenteral and enteral feeding, surgeries in the gastro- intestinal tract, drugs that shorten or lengthen the passage through the gut, risk of aspiration, swallowing troubles. An intervention and a control group were formed. 15 of them received 7-8 g oat-bran/d for 12 weeks (fiber group) mixed up in the daily common diet of the ward and 15 served as control (control group).

DATA COLLECTION

Bodyweight was taken at baseline, after 6 weeks and at the end of the supplementation. Data on laxative use, stool frequency and the eating habits of the elderly were recorded.

RESULTS

Laxatives were successfully discontinued by 59% (p < 0.001) in the fiber-group; in the control-group there was an increase of 8% (p=0.218). Bodyweight remained constant in the fiber-group and decreased in the control-group (p=0.002). The oat-fiber supplementation in the introduced form was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS

Use of oat-fiber allowed discontinuation of laxatives by 59% while improving body-weight and wellbeing of the seniors. Fiber supplementation is a safe and convenient alternative to laxatives in a geriatric hospital.

Links

Authors+Show Affiliations

,

Department of Nutritional Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

, ,

Source

MeSH

Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Avena
Body Weight
Constipation
Diet
Dietary Fiber
Frail Elderly
Hospitalization
Humans
Laxatives
Plant Preparations
Seeds

Pub Type(s)

Controlled Clinical Trial
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19214342

Citation

Sturtzel, B, et al. "Use of Fiber Instead of Laxative Treatment in a Geriatric Hospital to Improve the Wellbeing of Seniors." The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, vol. 13, no. 2, 2009, pp. 136-9.
Sturtzel B, Mikulits C, Gisinger C, et al. Use of fiber instead of laxative treatment in a geriatric hospital to improve the wellbeing of seniors. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(2):136-9.
Sturtzel, B., Mikulits, C., Gisinger, C., & Elmadfa, I. (2009). Use of fiber instead of laxative treatment in a geriatric hospital to improve the wellbeing of seniors. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 13(2), pp. 136-9.
Sturtzel B, et al. Use of Fiber Instead of Laxative Treatment in a Geriatric Hospital to Improve the Wellbeing of Seniors. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(2):136-9. PubMed PMID: 19214342.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Use of fiber instead of laxative treatment in a geriatric hospital to improve the wellbeing of seniors. AU - Sturtzel,B, AU - Mikulits,C, AU - Gisinger,C, AU - Elmadfa,I, PY - 2009/2/14/entrez PY - 2009/2/14/pubmed PY - 2009/10/24/medline SP - 136 EP - 9 JF - The journal of nutrition, health & aging JO - J Nutr Health Aging VL - 13 IS - 2 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Constipation is a common problem in the elderly population, especially in geriatric wards. Laxatives are the most preferred solution but current studies link constipation and laxative use to weight-loss and malnutrition in nursing homes. Dietary fibers also affect stool weight and transit time. So, oat-bran effectiveness in reducing the need for bowel medication and weight-loss for geriatric care patients was examined in a geriatric hospital. AIM: To determine whether the addition of oat-bran to common oral diet can reduce the use of laxatives and improve the wellbeing and bodyweight of the inhabitants of a long-term-care facility. METHODS: The study was designed as a controlled blind intervention trial among 30 frail inhabitants of a geriatric hospital aged 57-100 years with laxative use. Including criteria were: oral food intake and laxatives as therapy and excluding criteria were: parenteral and enteral feeding, surgeries in the gastro- intestinal tract, drugs that shorten or lengthen the passage through the gut, risk of aspiration, swallowing troubles. An intervention and a control group were formed. 15 of them received 7-8 g oat-bran/d for 12 weeks (fiber group) mixed up in the daily common diet of the ward and 15 served as control (control group). DATA COLLECTION: Bodyweight was taken at baseline, after 6 weeks and at the end of the supplementation. Data on laxative use, stool frequency and the eating habits of the elderly were recorded. RESULTS: Laxatives were successfully discontinued by 59% (p < 0.001) in the fiber-group; in the control-group there was an increase of 8% (p=0.218). Bodyweight remained constant in the fiber-group and decreased in the control-group (p=0.002). The oat-fiber supplementation in the introduced form was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Use of oat-fiber allowed discontinuation of laxatives by 59% while improving body-weight and wellbeing of the seniors. Fiber supplementation is a safe and convenient alternative to laxatives in a geriatric hospital. SN - 1279-7707 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19214342/full_citation L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/constipation.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -