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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


ACUNA, K. et al. Detection of nosocomial malnutrition is improved in Amazon region by a standard clinical nutrition education program. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.1, pp.60-67. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background: In Brazil hospital malnutrition is highly prevalent, physician awareness of malnutrition is low, and nutrition therapy is underprescribed. One alternative to approach this problem is to educate health care providers in clinical nutrition. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of an intensive education course given to health care professionals and students on the diagnosis ability concerning to hospital malnutrition. Materials and methods: An intervention study, based on a clinical nutrition educational program, offered to medical and nursing students and professionals, was held in a hospital of the Amazon region. Participants were evaluated through improvement of diagnostic ability, according to agreement of malnutrition diagnosis using Subjective Global Assessment before and after the workshop, as compared to independent evaluations (Kappa Index, k). To evaluate the impact of the educational intervention on the hospital malnutrition diagnosis, medical records were reviewed for documentation of parameters associated with nutritional status of in-patients. The SPSS statistical software package was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 165 participants concluded the program. The majority (76.4%) were medical and nursing students. Malnutrition diagnosis improved after the course (before k = 0.5; after k = 0.64; p < 0.05). A reduction of false negatives from 50% to 33.3% was observed. During the course, concern of nutritional diagnosis was increased ( X2= 17.57; p < 0.001) and even after the course, improvement on the height measurement was detected (X2 = 12.87; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Clinical nutrition education improved the ability of diagnosing malnutrition; however the primary impact was on medical and nursing students. To sustain diagnostic capacity a clinical nutrition program should be part of health professional curricula and be coupled with continuing education for health care providers.

Keywords : Education-nutrition; Hospital malnutrition; Nutritional assessment; Nutritional therapy; Amazon region.

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