Needs assessment for patients food intake monitoring among Indonesian healthcare professionals

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to provide a needs assessment related to the current practice of food intake monitoring for hospitalized adult patients among healthcare professionals and obtain feedback for the development of a new dietary assessment tool.

Background

Continuous effort has been made to identify patients at high risk of malnutrition, but monitoring and documentation of nutritional intake are relative less emphasized upon.

Methods

A needs assessment through a cross-sectional study design was carried out at six hospitals in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was filled out by 111 respondents recruited from three different professions (nurses, dietitians and serving assistants) in the wards.

Results

Seventy per cent of the respondents perceived that the current dietary assessment tool used to record patients’ food intake was simple; however, the disadvantage of this tool was its tedious process of computing nutritional values of food consumed. Furthermore, more than half respondents encountered problems in conducting food intake record of patients, primarily due to limited number of human resources, followed by time constraints and perception that such dietary assessment as not part of their job scope.

Discussion

This study has revealed important information in developing a simple, valid and reliable dietary assessment tool for monitoring food intake of hospitalized patients to be applied by interdisciplinary hospital professionals.

Conclusions

Awareness of the important on monitoring nutrient intake of patients should be emphasized among healthcare professionals. The current dietary assessment tool requires modification due to lengthy time taken to complete the task and poor accuracy in intake estimation.

Implication for nursing and health policy

Hospitals should provide protocols and guidelines of cooperation among interdisciplinary professionals, including nurses, which includes a simple dietary assessment tool to assist nutritional management of hospitalized patients.

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