Graduation Date

Summer 8-18-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Corrine Hanson

Second Advisor

Bernice Yates

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Lyden


Background: Nutrition is an important aspect of critically ill hospitalized patient care but the lack of consistent nutritional guidelines for sub-critically ill patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) requiring non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) may be putting vulnerable patients at risk. Hand grip strength measurements are an emerging metric for nutritional status.

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine if hospitalized patients with COPD on NPPV show a difference in handgrip strength as a marker of nutritional status than those hospitalized patients with COPD not requiring NPPV.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study of 10 hospitalized patients not requiring NPPV (Group 1) and 5 hospitalized patients requiring NPPV (Group 2). 3 measurements of handgrip strength on the patient’s dominate hand were averaged every alternating day during hospitalization. Mineral status and physiological parameters were also recorded concurrently with handgrip strength collection.

Results: The two groups were similar overall. Group 2 had a longer length of stay, averaging 5.2 (±0.45) days, with group 1 averaging 3.2 (±0.63) days (p=0.001). Mineral status and physiological parameters between the groups were similar. Group 1 had an average change in handgrip strength of 1.59 (±1.82) kg with group 2 having an average change of -1.08 (±1.22) kg (p=0.016).

Conclusion: Hospitalized patients with COPD on NPPV may be at risk for a decline in nutritional status compared to those not requiring NPPV as shown by a significant difference in change in handgrip strength.