Procedures and Protocols for Weight Assessment During Acute Illness in Individuals With Anorexia Nervosa: A National Survey

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Weight assessment is a key component of nursing care for individuals with the acute illness of anorexia nervosa (AN). However, there is little data to guide protocols and procedures regarding weight assessment. OBJECTIVE: To describe institutional practices regarding weight assessment of individuals during acute illness of AN. DESIGN: Treatment facilities (N = 24) completed a survey about written protocols and procedures regarding weight assessment and disclosure of weight to patients. RESULTS: The majority of facilities (n = 22; 92%) have written protocols for weight assessment. Weight assessments occurred mostly in the morning (n = 23; 95.8%), in hospital gowns (n = 21; 87.5%), and after voiding (n = 14; 58.3%). Respondents described mixed practices for disclosing weight to patients. CONCLUSION: Results indicate widespread variability in weight assessment and disclosure of weight. Further research is necessary to help develop evidence-based guidelines about weighing practices during acute illness for individuals with AN.

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