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Use of an electronic malnutrition screening tool in a hospital setting: effects on knowledge, attitudes and perceived practices of healthcare staff

  • Doris Eglseer (a1), Ruud J. G. Halfens (a2) and Christa Lohrmann (a1)

Malnutrition risk screening is essential for the adequate identification and treatment of malnourished hospitalised patients. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the use of an electronic malnutrition screening tool on the knowledge, attitudes and perceived practices (KAP) of a pool of nurses, nurses’ aides and physicians. A controlled study using a pre-test–post-test design was carried out in two Austrian hospitals. The hospital that was assigned to the intervention group used the Graz malnutrition screening tool. The hospital that was assigned to the control group received no intervention. To collect data, a questionnaire was filled out by the study participants at baseline (T0) and 1 month after the implementation (T1) to assess KAP. All data were analysed using descriptive statistics, χ 2 tests, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and Student’s t tests. A total of 269 nurses, nurses’ aides and physicians participated in the study and completed the questionnaires at T0, and 190 people at T1. The sum score for the KAP questionnaire changed significantly after the implementation of the malnutrition screening tool in the intervention group (P<0·001), but not in the control group. The use of a valid and reliable malnutrition screening tool effectively improved the KAP of healthcare staff. The KAP described here are essential for providing successful nutritional care in malnourished patients, and improving these factors may result in improved patient outcomes. To attain these outcomes, stakeholders, as well as members of all professions involved in multidisciplinary nutritional care, must invest significant efforts.

Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: D. Eglseer, email
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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