Aims and objectives: To gain insight into the experiences and perceptions of hospital and home care nurses regarding nutritional care for older adults to prevent and treat malnutrition.
Background: In-depth knowledge about hospital and home care nurses’ experiences and perceptions can contribute to optimise nutritional care for older adults across the care continuum between hospital and home to prevent and treat malnutrition.
Design: Multicentre cross-sectional descriptive study.
Method: A validated questionnaire addressing malnutrition was used. A total of 1,135 questionnaires were sent to hospital and home care nurses. The STROBE statement was followed for reporting.
Results: The response rate was 49% (n = 556). Of all the nurses, 37% perceived the prevalence of malnutrition among their care recipients between 10% and 25%. Almost 22% of the nurses neither agreed nor disagreed or disagreed with the statement that prevention of malnutrition is possible. More than 28% of the nurses reported that malnutrition is a small or no problem. Over 95% of the hospital nurses and 52.5% of the home care nurses stated they screened routinely for malnutrition. The nurses considered several interventions for treating malnutrition important. Over 81% of the nurses indicated they wanted to follow further training.
Conclusion: Most hospital and home care nurses perceived that nutritional care for older adults to prevent and treat malnutrition was important. A fair group of nurses, however, had the opposite perception.
Relevance to clinical practice: Raising the awareness of all hospital and home care nurses about the importance of nutritional care for older adults is pivotal to increase the chance of successfully providing nursing nutritional care. Nurses should follow training for consolidation of nutritional care. Nurses are well-positioned to take a leadership role to improve continuity and quality of nutritional care across the care continuum between hospital and home.