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Research project: Screening for malnutrition by community nurses: Barriers and facilitators

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The project aims to understand community nurses' views about barriers and facilitators to undertaking nutritional screening using a qualitative approach.  People cared for by community nurses may be malnourished, which can affect their recovery from illness.  Nurses can identify people who are malnourished by using a short questionnaire (or tool) when they first visit a patient at home.  This research asks community nurses their opinions on the use of a questionnaire or tool to identify which of their patients are malnourished.

Malnutrition is prevalent in some community populations in the UK (BAPEN 2009).  Identification of malnutrition using a screening tool can enable planning and delivery of appropriate nutritional care.  Community nurses frequently provide care for adults at risk of malnutrition, and are ideally placed to identify those living at home who are malnourished.  There is little research examining community nurses views on the use of malnutrition screening tools.   

A qualitative methodology was employed.  A purposive sample of 20 community nurses (district nurses and community matrons) who provide care for adults in their own homes in one primary care Trust were interviewed by a researcher.  A semi-structured interview schedule was used.  Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and coded.  Themes addressing the research objectives were identified using thematic analysis.


Project team

Green, S., Fader, M., Latter, S., Sutcliffe, M.(Community Dietitian), James, L. (Research Assistant)


Project funder

BAPEN Nutricia Research Fellowship Award 2009

Related research groups

Health Work and Systems
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