Barriers to nutrition care for nursing home residents

Author(s): Crogan NL, Shultz JA, Adams CE, Massey LK

Abstract

The prevalence of protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM) in nursing home residents has reached 85% in some nursing homes and is linked to increased mortality among residents. Separate survey questionnaires were developed and administered to 99 nursing assistants and 44 nurses (35 RNs, 9 LPNs) from five eastern Washington nursing homes. The purpose was to assess nurse (RN, LPN) and nursing assistant perceived beliefs and views related to nutritional needs of nursing home residents that have a potential impact on PCM of residents. Experienced nursing assistants did not view the nurse as an active participant during mealtime. Specific barriers such as a lack of time and training, too many residents, working short staffed, poor food quality, and a lack of nurse-nursing-assistant teamwork may contribute to residents not getting enough food to eat. An education program addressing staff relationships and nutrition training of nursing assistants could improve the ability of nursing staff to ensure residents' food intake and improve the quality of life for residents in nursing homes.

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