Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Nutrition intervention and support is a critical part of caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. TBI patients have high energy and protein needs, as well as increased needs for some vitamins and minerals. There are a number of ways to assess energy and protein needs for TBI patients including indirect calorimetry, the Harrris-Benedict Equations and the Glasgow Coma Scale Equation. Most TBI patients are either non-responsive (comatose) or develop some form of dysphagia and, therefore, are unable to consume adequate amounts of nutrition via the oral route. Nutrition support through enteral or parenteral routes may improve the medical outcome of TBI patients when oral intake is either not possible or inadequate. Adequate nutrition, avoiding under nutrition and over nutrition, as well as proper timing are critical in effective nutrition support. Proper evaluation of feeding methods and nutrition requirements, in addition to timely initiation of nutrition support are essential in treatment of TBI patents. TBI patents who receive appropriate nutrition intervention tend to have improved outcomes and shorter lengths of hospital stay.



Faculty Mentor

Noreen Schvaneveldt

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen Schvaneveldt