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Influence of adherence to the national guidance on nutrition screening and dietitian referral on clinical outcomes of those requiring parenteral nutrition

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Abstract Background: 

National guidance in the UK on nutrition support suggests that all patients should be screened on initial admission to hospital and, where appropriate, be referred to a healthcare professional. The present study aimed to investigate whether initial nutrition screening influenced the outcome of patients who received parenteral nutrition (PN). Methods: 

Data were prospectively evaluated on 100 consecutive patients referred to the multidisciplinary PN team in a teaching hospital. Information was obtained from medical notes, electronic patient records, completed PN prescription charts, dietetic record cards and nursing care plans. Patients who were treatable by nutritional supplements or enteral nutrition were not included. Patients were divided into two groups: guidance compliant and guidance noncompliant, in order to compare outcome measures such as the duration of PN treatment, total number of PN bags used per patient and length of hospital stay. Comparison of data between the two groups was carried out using either the independent samples t-test or the Mann–Whitney U-test. Results: 

There was no difference in outcome measures between the guidance compliant and noncompliant groups. Patients in the guidance noncompliant group were more likely to be in general (77%) than critical wards (23%). Patients who were in the guidance compliant group received nutrition support earlier. Conclusions: 

Compliance with the national guidance in the UK on screening did not improve outcomes in patients requiring parenteral nutrition in this cohort. Initial nutrition screening prior to PN administration warrants further investigation to ensure value is added to patient care.
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Keywords: nutrition screening; parenteral nutrition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Pathology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 2: Department of Pharmacy, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Publication date: 01 April 2010

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