Routines in the community nursing services for assessing nutritional status
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Original versionAagaard, H., & Grøndahl, V.A. (2017). Routines in the community nursing services for assessing nutritional status. Sykepleien forskning, 12(e-61219). 10.4220/Sykepleienf.2017.61219
Background: Studies show that patients who receive assistance from the community nursing services may be susceptible to undernutrition. In order to map nutritional status, in 2009 the Norwegian Directorate of Health issued national professional guidelines for the prevention and treatment of undernutrition, which stressed that all patients admitted to institutions or persons registered with the community nursing services are to be assessed for nutritional risk. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the routines that managers and health care personnel in the community nursing services follow when assessing patients’ nutritional status. Method: The study was a quantitative cross-sectional study, comprising two sub-studies: one among managers in the community nursing services and one among health care personnel. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire. A total of 273 managers (response rate 59%) and 212 health care personnel (response rate 74%) answered the questionnaire. Results: 67% of the managers and 37% of the health care personnel were familiar with the Directorate of Health's national guidelines. One out of three respondents replied that the community nursing services have written procedures for assessing nutritional status. 80% of the managers and 69% of the health care personnel stated that it was not usual to weigh service users when registering them for community nursing services. Conclusion: Written procedures should be prepared for assessing nutritional status in the municipalities. Guidelines are available, but they should be better publicised, and the training of health care personnel should be a priority area.