Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt


Noreen B. Schvaneveldt


This study was conducted to assess the effect of nutrition education utilizing computerized dietary analysis on nutrition knowledge, dietary compliance, nutrition status, and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. Twenty patients of the Bonneville Dialysis Center in Ogden, Utah voluntarily agreed to participate in this six-month study. All participants completed quality of life assessments, the Beck Depression Inventory© (BDI), and a nutrition knowledge assessment pre- and post-study. Patients in the treatment group (n=12) completed monthly 3-day food records which were analyzed by Computrition® nutrient analysis software. Results were discussed with the patients during one-on-one education sessions. Control patients (n=8) completed 3-day food records pre- and poststudy. Monitoring parameters included: nutrition-related laboratory data, kinetic modeling data, weights, and percent body fat, using Futrex® near infrared interactance. Dietary components followed were: protein, calories, sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Multivariant analysis of variance was used for statistical comparisons.

Weight and percent body fat were relatively stable throughout the study period for both groups. The treatment group's nutrition knowledge improved as measured by pre- and post-study test scores. Nutrient intakes showed no significant changes except for calorie intake, which decreased in the treatment group. The treatment group's intake of other analyzed nutrients showed declining trends, which were not statistically significant.

Serum albumin and total protein increased in both groups. Average serum cholesterol levels decreased in the treatment group. Serum potassium levels did not change significantly. Serum phosphorus increased in the treatment group. However, this did not appear to be caused by increased dietary phosphorus intake. Kinetic modeling data showed a significant increase in protein catabolic rate of experimental subjects. Protein catabolic rates (PCR) are an indicator of dietary protein intakes in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

The treatment group showed improvement in the alertness behavior area of the Sickness Impact Profile© (SIP). The control group declined in the recreation and pastimes area of the SIP. No significant changes were observed in the BDI.

These results indicate that computerized dietary analysis is an effective instruction tool, is helpful in improving dietary protein intake as measured by PCR, and may contribute to improved quality of life of hemodialysis patients.