Nutrition Care of Older Adults with Chronic Disease: Attitudes and Practices of Physicians and Patients

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Abstract

Objectives:

Eighty percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease. Most conditions could be improved with nutritional intervention. This scientific study assessed physician and patient knowledge of, and behaviors about nutrition, resulting in tools to guide physicians in nutrition management of chronic diseases.

Methods:

Surveys were conducted of 300 practicing physicians and 600 older adults to identify current attitudes and practices regarding the role of nutrition in chronic disease management.

Results:

Ninety percent of physicians surveyed recognize the relationship between nutrition and chronic disease. Yet nutrition care occurs only sporadically in primary care settings.

Conclusions:

Most physicians are aware of nutrition in managing chronic disease, but a significant percentage do not routinely include nutrition in their practice. This research led to the development of tools to assist in identifying and managing the nutritional aspects of chronic disease.

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