How do Australasian hospitals identify and manage malnutrition in their acute care wards?

Agarwal, Ekta, Ferguson, Maree, Banks, Merrilyn, Capra, Sandra, Bauer, Judith, Batterham, Marijka, & Isenring, Elisabeth (2012) How do Australasian hospitals identify and manage malnutrition in their acute care wards? Nutrition and Dietetics, 69(s1), p. 25.

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Abstract

One aim of the Australasian Nutrition Care Day Survey was to explore nutrition care practices in acute care hospital wards across Australia and New Zealand. Managers of Dietetic departments completed a questionnaire regarding ward nutrition care practices. Overall, 370 wards from 56 hospitals participated. The median ward size was 28 beds (range: 8–60 beds). Although there was a wide variation in full-time equivalent availability of dietitians (median: 0.3; range: 0–1.4), their involvement in providing nutrition care across ward specialities was signifi cantly higher than other staff members (χ2, p < 0.01). Feeding assistance, available in 89% of the wards, was provided mainly by nursing staff and family members (χ2, p < 0.01). Protected meal times were implemented in 5% (n = 18) of the wards. Fifty-three percent of the wards (n = 192) weighed patients on request and 40% (n = 148) on admission. Routine malnutrition screening was conducted in 63% (n = 232) of the wards and 79% (n = 184) of these wards used the Malnutrition Screening Tool, 16% (n = 37) the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, and 5% (n = 11) other tools. Nutrition rescreening was routinely conducted in 20% of the wards. Among wards that implemented nutrition screening, 41% (n = 100) routinely referred patients “at risk” of malnutrition to dietitians as part of their standard protocol for malnutrition management. Results of this study provide new knowledge regarding current nutrition care practice, highlight gaps in existing practice, and can be used to inform improved nutrition care in acute care wards across Australia and New Zealand.

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ID Code: 57245
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: nutrition care, evidence-based practice guidelines, nutrition screening, dietary intervention
DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2012.01610_2.x
ISSN: 1446-6368
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 > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2013 06:26
Last Modified: 27 May 2016 13:59

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