Short-term body weight fluctuations amongst well-hydrated older people admitted to a Geriatric and Rehabilitation Unit (GARU)

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Yu, Lily
Vivanti, Angela
Dakin, Lucy
Palmer, Michelle
Campbell, Katrina
Sun, Jing
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Linda Tapsell, Malcolm Riley
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2010
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Abstract

Scales are a key dietetic practice tool, with weights commonly used in research and clinical settings. However, effects of varying intensity of scale usage on reading accuracy and scale durability between scale calibrations are not commonly reported. This study aimed to identify scale inaccuracy following rough and careful handling. The G-TECH International GL6000-20 portable electronic scale (Max = 200 kg, Graduation = 100 g) was used for all weight measurements completed in a tertiary teaching hospital. The scale was professionally calibrated initially, after phase 1 (2 days, 360 weights) and after phase 2 (8 weeks, 368 weights). Weights were conducted by one author on hard flooring and short carpet within the hospital. During phase 1, scales were randomly carried (sideways, face down, face up, with handle) and relocated on 36 occasions. During phase 2, scales were carried as prescribed by the carry handle and relocated after each occasion, and were inaccessible to others. During calibration, scale accuracy was measured at 20 kg increments between 0-200 kg. Following phase 1, -0.2 kg error occurred at 160 kg and 200 kg and -0.1 kg error occurred at the remaining increments between 80-180 kg. No measurement error during calibration was found after phase 2. Errors occurred after poor handling for 2 days compared with correct handling over several months. Whether measurement errors occur in a linear fashion or reduce (or increase) exponentially over time remains to be ascertained. This result has implications for both single and repeat weight measurements undertaken in both clinical or research endeavors.

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Special Issue: Dietitians Association of Australia 28th National Conference
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Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Food Sciences
Nutrition and Dietetics
Public Health and Health Services
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