Journal of Eating Disorders
Outcomes of an inpatient medical nutritional rehabilitation protocol in children and adolescents with eating disorders
Journal of Eating Disorders20175:7
© The Author(s). 2017
Published: 1 March 2017
Medical stabilization through inpatient nutritional rehabilitation is often necessary for patients with eating disorders (EDs) but includes the inherent risk of refeeding syndrome. Here we describe our experience of implementing and sustaining an inpatient nutritional rehabilitation protocol designed to strategically prepare patients with EDs and their families for discharge to a home setting in an efficient and effective manner from a general adolescent medicine unit. We report outcomes at admission, discharge, and 4-weeks follow-up.
Protocol development, implementation, and unique features of the protocol, are described. Data were collected retrospectively as part of a continuous quality improvement (QI) initiative. Safety outcomes were the clinical need for phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium supplementation, other evidence of refeeding syndrome, and unexpected readmissions within one month of discharge. The value outcome was length of stay (LOS). Treatment outcomes were the percentage median BMI (MBMI) change from admission to discharge, and from discharge to 4-weeks follow-up visit.
A total of 215 patients (88% F, 12% M) were included. Patients averaged 15.3 years old (5.8–23.2y); 64% had AN, 18% had atypical anorexia (AtAN), 6% bulimia nervosa (BN), 5% purging disorder (PD), 4% avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), and 3% had an unspecified food and eating disorder (UFED). Average LOS was 11 days. Initial mean calorie level for patients at admission was 1466 and at discharge 3800 kcals/day. Phosphorus supplementation for refeeding hypophosphatemia (RH) was needed in 14% of inpatients; full-threshold refeeding syndrome did not occur. Only 3.8% were rehospitalized in the thirty days after discharge. Patients averaged 86.1% of a median MBMI for age and gender, 91.4% MBMI at discharge, and 100.9% MBMI at 4-weeks follow-up. Mean percentage MBMI differences between time points were significantly different (admission-discharge: 5.3%, p <0.001; discharge-follow-up: 9.2%, p <0.001).
Implementation of the CHOP inpatient nutritional rehabilitation protocol aimed at rapid, efficient, and safe weight gain and integration of caregivers in treatment of patients with diverse ED diagnoses led to excellent QI outcomes in percentage MBMI at discharge and 4-weeks follow-up, while maintaining a short LOS and low rates of RH phosphorus supplementation.
Anorexia nervosaBulimia nervosaEating disordersMalnutritionRefeeding syndromeAdolescentsNutritional rehabilitation