Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Dietetics and Nutrition


Oregon Health & Science University


Traumatic Brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability in the United States. TBI patients are often in the hospital for extended·periods of time following their injury, and in this time, it is estimated that they lose a significant amount of their lean body mass. This dramatic weight loss places TBI patients in a malnourished state that increases length of hospital stay, increases the likelihood of complications, and prolongs the duration of rehabilitation. It is well known that the nutrient needs ofTBI patients are great, however, documentation of their nutrient intake is lacking. A landmark of great importance in the rehabilitation of the brain-injured patient is the initiation of oral intake. The effects that dysphagia and impairment of cognitive communicative function have on oral intake have been well documented. However, literature linking psychomotor ability to oral intake in the TBI population is limited. In this randomized clinical trial, 6 TBI patients were given the standard hospital diet and a calorie-dense, high protein finger food diet once they were cleared to initiate oral feeding. Daily food records were collected, and the diets were analyzed. We hypothesized that while on the finger food diet subjects would have a higher calorie and protein intake than when on the standard diet. If available, serum albumin, prealbumin, C-reactive protein, and the CBC panel were measured and evaluated. The main finding was that the TBI subjects enrolled in our study ate approximately half of their estimated needs. It was also found that there was no significant difference between calorie and protein intake between the two diet types. However, while on the standard diet, subjects ate less calories and protein at dinnertime. This study is a pilot in an ongoing protocol, and subjects are still being enrolled. The results from this study will give some insight into optimizing nutrition therapy for those with severe head trauma




School of Medicine



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.