What do healthcare providers know about nutrition support?


#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Karim, S.A., Ibrahim, B., Tangiisuran, B. and Davies, J.G. (2014) What Do Healthcare Providers Know About Nutrition Support? A Survey of the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice of Pharmacists and Doctors Toward Nutrition Support in Malaysia. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. March 3rd. .


Background and Aims: Malnutrition is one of the health problems that can be prevented by appropriate nutrition care provided by healthcare providers. However, this practice is still lacking possibly because of the providers’ inadequate knowledge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and practices of pharmacists and doctors toward nutrition support in a tertiary care hospital setting.

Methods: A validated questionnaire was distributed to all the doctors and pharmacists working in a tertiary hospital in Penang, Malaysia. Seven individuals including academics, general surgeons, and pharmacists performed the face and content validity. The questionnaire was piloted using 24 healthcare providers at a different hospital.

Result: Of 400 surveyed, 158 doctors and 72 pharmacists from various grades completed the questionnaire. More doctors (31.6%) than pharmacists (15.3%) reported adequate knowledge to perform patients’ nutrition screening. However, in the knowledge assessment, pharmacists had a higher mean score (6.07 ± 1.77) than the doctors did (4.59 ± 1.87; P < .001), and most (70.4%) of them were grouped in the “average” score range. In addition, both pharmacists and doctors have ambivalent attitudes toward nutrition support. Only 31.3% stated that they perform nutrition screening on admission, and half of them performed nutrition assessment during hospitalization.

Conclusion: Inappropriate nutrition care might be due to the lack of guidelines and insufficient knowledge among doctors and pharmacists. Special nutrition training and education for both pharmacists and doctors should be established.

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