Everyone's problem but nobody's job : staff perceptions and explanations for poor nutritional intake in older medical patients
Ross, Lynda J., Mudge, Alison M., Young, Adrienne M., & Banks, Merrilyn D. (2011) Everyone's problem but nobody's job : staff perceptions and explanations for poor nutritional intake in older medical patients. Nutrition and Dietetics, 68(1), pp. 41-46.
Aim: Up to 60% of older medical patients are malnourished with further decline during hospital stay. There is limited evidence for effective nutrition intervention. Staff focus groups were conducted to improve understanding of potential contextual and cultural barriers to feeding older adults in hospital.
Methods: Three focus groups involved 22 staff working on the acute medical wards of a large tertiary teaching hospital. Staff disciplines were nursing, dietetics, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacy. A semistructured topic guide was used by the same facilitator to prompt discussions on hospital nutrition care including barriers. Focus groups were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically.
Results: All staff recognised malnutrition to be an important problem in older patients during hospital stay and identified patient-level barriers to nutrition care such as non-compliance to feeding plans and hospital-level barriers including nursing staff shortages. Differences between disciplines revealed a lack of a coordinated approach, including poor knowledge of nutrition care processes, poor interdisciplinary communication, and a lack of a sense of shared responsibility/coordinated approach to nutrition care. All staff talked about competing activities at meal times and felt disempowered to prioritise nutrition in the acute medical setting. Staff agreed education and ‘extra hands’ would address most barriers but did not consider organisational change.
Conclusions: Redesigning the model of care to reprioritise meal-time activities and redefine multidisciplinary roles and responsibilities would support coordinated nutrition care. However, effectiveness may also depend on hospitalwide leadership and support to empower staff and increase accountability within a team-led approach.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||attitude of health personnel, elderly, focus group, malnutrition, patient care, qualitative research|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2011 Dietitians Association of Australia|
|Deposited On:||22 Jul 2012 22:46|
|Last Modified:||28 Apr 2015 04:24|
Repository Staff Only: item control page