Nutrition Screening Practices Across Care Settings: Results of a Canadian Survey

Cindy Steel*, Heather Wile MA
Nestlé Health Science, North York, North York, Ontario, M2N 6S8, Canada
*Corresponding Author E-mail Address: [email protected]

Background: Malnutrition has been identified as a prominent issue across healthcare settings throughout the world. In Canada, nutrition screening practices to identify malnutrition are largely unknown. Objective: To help understand current practices and help inform future practice change initiatives, a seven question survey was administered across care settings in Canada.  Subjects and Methods: A convenience sample of 1424 dietitians was contacted through email invitation, with 256 surveys (18%) completed.   Ninety-five (37%) responses were from hospital, 72 (28%) long term care (LTC), 51 (20%) community, 15 (6%) Rehab, and 23 (9%) others.  Nutrition screening was reported to occur in 68% of care settings.  Results: Prevalence of screening varied by healthcare setting; LTC (81%), hospital (65%), rehab (60%), community (57%). The top two identified barriers to screening in both hospital and LTC were not enough staff and not enough time. Sixty-six percent of LTC facilities and 40% of hospitals were using non-validated tools created within their organization. The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) was identified as the most used validated tool (24%). Conclusion: Current nutrition screening practices place both malnourished and at-risk individuals in jeopardy of being overlooked. Initiatives to increase awareness and shift practice towards screening with validated screening tools are greatly needed.

Keywords: Nutrition Screening Practices, Canada

Citation: Steel C, Wile H. Nutrition Screening Practices Across Care Settings:  Results of a Canadian Survey. Canad J Clin Nutr 2018; 6 (1): 7-19.