MEDPass Trial Examination of an innovative administration mode of oral nutritional supplements

The MEDPass Trial investigated an innovative administration mode of oral nutritional supplements with the aim to compare coverage of energy and protein requirements.


  • Lead school(s) School of Health Professions
  • Duration (planned) 01.12.2016 - 31.12.2023
  • Project management Prof. Dr. med. Zeno Stanga, Insel Gruppe Bern
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. med. Zeno Stanga, Insel Gruppe Bern
  • Project staff Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Schönenberger, Insel Gruppe Bern
    Dr. med. Dominic Bertschi, Insel Gruppe Bern
    Silvia Kurmann, Berner Fachhochschule Gesundheit
    Katja Uhlmann, Berner Fachhochschule Gesundheit
    Emilie Reber, PhD Kandidatin, Insel Gruppe Bern
    Maria Vasiloglou, PhD Kandidatin, ARTORG, Bern
    Prof. Dr. med. Philipp Schütz, Kantonsspital Aarau
    Anna-Barbara Sterchi, Ernährungsberatung, Insel Gruppe Bern
    Team Ernährungsberatung, Insel Gruppe Bern, Standort Tiefenau
  • Partner Abbott Nutrition Laboratoires, Columbus, OH, USA
    Insel Gruppe Bern
    Kantonsspital Aarau
  • Keywords Malnutrition, oral nutritional supplements, MEDPass administration mode


Patients at nutritional risk are often dependent on oral nutritional supplements (ONS) to cover their energy and protein requirements. Compliance with ONS is often low which poses a barriere to adequate oral nutrition therapy. There are no standards on ONS administration in terms of timing throughout the day. This leads to unsystematic approaches. Conventionally, ONS are served as snacks between the main meals. The so called MEDPass administraion mode offers a new approach. Administration in the MEDPass mode means a distribution of ONS together with medication rounds three to four times a day in unusually small amounts.


The MEDPass Trial investigated if:

  • energy and protein intake of medical and geriatric inpatients is enhanced by MEDPass administration of ONS
  • handgrip strength as a sensitive parameter for protein-energy malnutrition may be optimized by MEDPass administration of ONS
  • there are differences in the course of weight, nausea and appetite
  • length of hospital of stay (LOS) and 30-day mortality differs between the groups

Course of action

From November 2018 to November 2021, patients were recruited from medical and geriatric wards of Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, facility Tiefenau

  • randomized controlled study design 
  • malnutrition risk screening
  • continuous monitoring of ONS and food intake
  • calculation of energy and protein intakes including blinded validation
  • weekly study visits to assess HGS, weight, appetite, and nausea
  • evaluation of LOS and 30-day mortality

Adjacent Bachelor- and Mastertheses



  • MEDPass Trial – Secondary Analysis of Data for NRS 2002 Scores and Energy Content of Oral Nutritional Supplements (in process for publication)
  • Handgrip Strength and Coverage of Energy and Protein Requirements - What Is the Relationship? A Secondary Analysis of the MEDPass Trial (in process for publication)