Survey finds 'significant gap' in detection of malnutrition in Canadian hospital patients

June 3, 2014

A new survey of Canadian physicians shows a "significant gap" between optimal practices to detect nutrition problems in hospitalized patients and what action is actually taking place.

The survey, conducted by the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, looked at physician attitudes and perceptions about identifying and treating nutrition issues among hospitalized . The startling findings of the survey were published today in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and External Nutrition (JPEN), the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.).

The survey found that large percentages of doctors believe that nutrition assessments should be done with patients upon admission (87 percent), during hospitalization (86 percent), and at discharge (78 percent). However, actual assessments completed were much lower, at 33 percent upon admission, 41 percent during hospitalization, and 29 percent at discharge.

A similar disparity was also found when it came to weighing hospitalized patients. Although doctors believe that weighing patients should happen upon admission (97 percent), during hospitalization (86 percent), and at discharge (81 percent), only 54 percent of patients were weighed upon admission, 25 percent during hospitalization, and nine percent at discharge.

Further, while the vast majority of doctors believed that nutrition requirements should be taken into account during ward rounds and that patients at risk for should receive ongoing monitoring, the actual implementation of these practices was well below the rates considered optimal.

"Malnutrition among hospitalized patients can adversely affect health care outcomes, including prolonged stays, higher readmission rates, and increased mortality" said Peggi Guenter, PhD, RN, A.S.P.E.N.'s Senior Director of Clinical Practice, Quality, and Advocacy. "This study should serve as a wakeup call – not just for clinicians in Canada, but for all clinicians. Malnutrition in is a global problem. We have similar issues with diagnosing and coding for malnutrition here in the United States."1

Malnutrition in hospitals is linked to multiple factors, including failure to recognize malnutrition, inadequate resources, poor quality or accessibility of food, and prolonged fasting for medical procedures. In addition, doctors receive little in the way of nutrition training in medical school or residency training, making them less likely to recognize -related issues.

The survey reflects data collected from 11 academic and seven community hospitals across Canada from July 2010 to February 2013 with more than 400 responding physicians.

Explore further: Risk of death, hospital readmission prolonged after heart attack, heart failure

More information: 1 Corkins MR, et al. Malnutrition Diagnoses in Hospitalized Patients: United States, 2010. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr February 2014 38: 186-195. pen.sagepub.com/content/38/2/186.full

Provided by: American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

shares

Related Stories

Risk of death, hospital readmission prolonged after heart attack, heart failure

May 16, 2013
Heart attack or heart failure patients may have a high risk of death or re-admission for a month or longer after leaving the hospital, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Scientific ...

Post-discharge deaths drop in young acute MI patients

March 31, 2014
(HealthDay)—In the most recent decade, compared with earlier decades, post-discharge death rates have dropped for young adults hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to research published in the April ...

Researchers unveil new assessment for diagnosing malnutrition

May 3, 2012
A new systematic assessment of malnutrition, created by researchers at Penn State, will aid dietitians and other health care providers in diagnosis and treatment.

Re-admission rates via emergency rooms climbing among patients who have recently been hospitalized

June 1, 2011
Emergency department patients who have recently been hospitalized are more than twice as likely to be admitted as those who have not recently been in the hospital, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine ...

Doctors' decisions on initial hospital admissions may affect readmission rates

May 13, 2011
Researchers compared hospitalization rates and rehospitalization rates of patients admitted for heart attack and for heart failure. Heart attack admissions are considered non-discretionary, whereas, heart failure admissions ...

Recommended for you

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.