Assessment and treatment of malnutrition in Dutch geriatric practice: consensus through a modified Delphi study.
SourceAge and Ageing, 41, 3, (2012), pp. 399-404
1 mei 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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Age and Ageing
SubjectDCN PAC - Perception action and control NCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre
OBJECTIVE: scientific evidence regarding the optimal management of malnutrition in geriatric patients is scarce. Our aim was to develop a consensus statement for geriatric hospital practice concerning six elements: (i) definition of malnutrition, (ii) screening and assessment, (iii) treatment and monitoring, (iv) roles and responsibilities of involved health care professionals, (v) communication and coordination of care between hospital and community health care professionals, (vi) quality indicators for malnutrition management. DESIGN: a modified Delphi study. METHODS: eleven geriatricians with special interest in malnutrition participated. In four rounds the experts rated the relevance of 204 statements, which were based on a literature review, on a five-point Likert scale. From the responses, means and 95% CIs were calculated. Consensus was defined as a lower 95% confidence limit >/=4.0. RESULTS: the panel reached consensus that malnutrition should be considered a geriatric syndrome. The nutritional status should be assessed using the Mini Nutritional Assessment combined with comprehensive geriatric assessment. Nutritional interventions should be combined with interventions targeting underlying factors. Specific goals for nutritional therapy and ways to achieve them were agreed upon. According to the experts, malnutrition is best managed by a multidisciplinary team for whom roles and responsibilities were specified. At discharge written information about the nutritional problem, treatment plan and goals should be provided to the patient, caregiver and community health care professionals. CONCLUSION: this study shows that a qualitative study based on a modified Delphi technique can result in national consensus on essential ingredients for a practical malnutrition guideline for geriatric patients.
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