Skip to main content
Presentation
How do Australasian hospitals identify and manage malnutrition in their acute care wards?
Dietitians Association of Australia 16th International Congress of Dietetics (2012)
  • Ekta Agarwal, University of Queensland
  • Maree Ferguson, University of Queensland
  • Merrilyn Banks, University of Queensland
  • Sandra Capra, The University of Queensland
  • Judith Bauer, The University of Queensland
  • Marijka Batterham, University of Wollongong
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 significantly higher than other staff members (x2, p < 0.01). Feeding assistance, available in 89% of the wards, was provided mainly by nursing staff and family members (x2, 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. 
Publication Date
September 5, 2012
Location
Sydney, Australia
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0080.2012.01610_2.x
Comments
Published version

Agarwal, E., Ferguson, M., Banks, M., Capra, S., Bauer, J., Batterham, M., & Isenring, E. (2012). How do Australasian hospitals identify and manage malnutrition in their acute care wards? Nutrition & Dietetics. Special Issue: Dietitians Association of Australia 16th International Congress of Dietetics, 5-8 September 2012, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia, 69(s1), 25.

Access the journal

© 2012 Dietitians Association of Australia
Citation Information
Ekta Agarwal, Maree Ferguson, Merrilyn Banks, Sandra Capra, et al.. "How do Australasian hospitals identify and manage malnutrition in their acute care wards?" Dietitians Association of Australia 16th International Congress of Dietetics (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ekta-agarwal/16/