Problem Medical nutrition therapy is an important component of glycaemic management in hospitalised patients with diabetes; however, there is a lack of information guiding the ordering of specific meal plans in this setting.
Setting University-affiliated academic medical centre.
Methods An administrative decision to gradually replace standard consistent-carbohydrate (CCMP) (standard group) with patient-controlled meal plans (patient-controlled group) presented the opportunity to compare menu selection, adherence to CCMP, glycaemic control and satisfaction as a quality-improvement initiative. Information was obtained from consecutive inpatients with diabetes admitted to units receiving standard (n=30) or patient-controlled meal plans (n=43). Patients received the meal plan according to unit location.
Results No group differences were observed in adherence to CCMP (70% vs 64%, p=0.1), mean capillary blood glucose (CBG) or hyperglycaemia frequency (CBG>180 mg/dl). Hypoglycaemia (CBG<70 mg/dl) occurred more frequently in the patient-controlled group (0.39 vs 3.23%, p=0.04). There were no episodes of severe hypoglycaemia (CBG<40 mg/dl) in either group. The patient-controlled group reported a greater satisfaction and had more opportunities for nutrition education, with a demonstrated improvement in adherence to CCMP following targeted education in six of nine patients with available menu data.
Conclusions The standard group experienced less hypoglycaemia and required less clinician oversight. The patient-controlled group allowed for identification of patients who would benefit from education, required more oversight by nutrition services and reported greater satisfaction with their meal plan. Both meal plans may be appropriate for inpatients with diabetes, provided that a sufficient review is available for patients who make inappropriate selections with the patient-controlled meal plan.
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Funding This work was sponsored by funding from the United States Air Force administered by the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, Award Number W81XWH-04-2-0030.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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