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Nutrition care practices in hospital wards: Results from the Nutrition Care Day Survey 2010
Clinical Nutrition (2012)
  • Ekta Agarwal, The University of Queensland
  • Maree Ferguson, University of Queensland
  • Merrilyn Banks, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Marijka J Batterham, University of Wollongong
  • Judith Bauer, The University of Queensland
  • Sandra Capra, The University of Queensland
  • Elizabeth Isenring, University of Queensland
Background & aim

This paper describes nutrition care practices in acute care hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.


A survey on nutrition care practices in Australian and New Zealand hospitals was completed by Directors of dietetics departments of 56 hospitals that participated in the Australasian Nutrition Care Day Survey 2010.


Overall 370 wards representing various specialities participated in the study. Nutrition risk screening was conducted in 64% (n = 234) of the wards. Seventy nine percent (n = 185) of these wards reported using the Malnutrition Screening Tool, 16% using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (n = 37), and 5% using local tools (n = 12). Nutrition risk rescreening was conducted in 14% (n = 53) of the wards. More than half the wards referred patients at nutrition risk to dietitians and commenced a nutrition intervention protocol. Feeding assistance was provided in 89% of the wards. “Protected” meal times were implemented in 5% of the wards.


A large number of acute care hospital wards in Australia and New Zealand do not comply with evidence-based practice guidelines for nutritional management of malnourished patients. This study also provides recommendations for practice.
  • Nutrition risk,
  • malnutrition,
  • screening,
  • dietary interventions,
  • evidence-based guidelines,
  • Australasian Nutrition Care Day Survey
Publication Date
December, 2012
Publisher Statement
Accepted version

Agarwal, E., Ferguson, M., Banks, M., Batterham, M., Bauer, J., Capra, S., & Isenring, E. (2012). Clinical Nutrition, 31(6), 995-1001.

Access the journal

©  2012 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
Citation Information
Ekta Agarwal, Maree Ferguson, Merrilyn Banks, Marijka J Batterham, et al.. "Nutrition care practices in hospital wards: Results from the Nutrition Care Day Survey 2010" Clinical Nutrition Vol. 31 Iss. 6 (2012) p. 995 - 1001 ISSN: 0261-5614
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