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Nutritional screening among seniors in health care institutions: comparison between the institutions Francophones and Anglophones

Nutritional screening among seniors in health care institutions: comparison between the institutions Francophones and Anglophones

Canadian Journal of Public Health 104(6 Suppl 1): S39-S43

Malnutrition among the elderly is a widespread problem in hospitals and nursing homes. However, data on the practice of nutritional screening in these facilities are limited, particularly in Francophone establishments. This study aimed to compare nutritional screening practices among the elderly in Anglophone and Francophone health care facilities in New Brunswick (NB), as well as perceptions and practices of health care professionals. Information on screening parameters was taken directly from elderly patients'/residents' medical records. Health care professionals' (doctors, nurses, dietitians) perceptions and practices of nutritional screening were collected through questionnaires. A total of five hospitals and 31 nursing homes in NB took part in the study. Of these, 421 patients/residents and 457 health professionals participated. Significant differences in the availability of screening parameters were observed between Francophone and Anglophone patients/residents. Certain screening parameters, such as weight at admission, loss of appetite and meal fractions consumed were less available in Francophone patients'/residents' records. In addition, health care professionals' perceptions regarding nutritional screening varied by occupation and language of the establishment. Several barriers to screening were also identified. Reduced availability of screening parameters in Francophone establishments and the underestimation of malnutrition in elderly patients/residents by doctors and nurses are barriers that can influence nutritional screening in Francophone health care facilities.

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Accession: 054694936

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PMID: 24300319

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