Poor nutritional status can be consequence of impaired mental health that may lead to involuntary weight gain, weight loss, or deficiency of essential nutrients. However, little has been documented about the nutritional status of adults with mental disorders and the contributing factors in low-income countries like Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess the magnitude of undernutrition and associated factors among adults with mental disorders in public hospitals of Eastern Ethiopia.
Institution-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among 507 adults with mental disorders from March 1, 2019 to April 1, 2019. Interviewer administered pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Anthropometric data were collected using calibrated weighing scale and height measuring board. Descriptive statistics was computed to describe the data. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were applied to identify factors associated with the undernutrition. Odds ratio alongside 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated to measure the strength of the association. Level of statistical significance was declared at p-value less than 0.05.
Undernutrition affected 62.7%; 95% CI: (58.3%, 67.7%) of the patients. Undernutrition was associated with meal frequency < 3 per day (adjusted odds ratio [(AOR = 2.07, 95% CI: (1.18, 3.63)], use of multiple medication (adjusted odds ratio [(AOR = 3.02, 95% CI: (1.88, 4.84)], being non-smoker [(AOR = 0.50, 95%CI: (0.25, 0.91)], and use of prescribed diet [(AOR = 0.45, 95%CI: (0.26, 0.78)].
The magnitude of undernutrition was high among the study participants. Multiple medication, cigarette smoking, frequency of meal and taking prescribed diet were significantly associated with undernutrition. Nutrition education for patients with mental disorders and their caregivers about the impact of taking multiple medication and substance use needs to be emphasized alongside nutritional screening and support to improve their nutritional status.