3 years ago

Changes in nutritional routines at discharge in Scandinavia during a 10-year period: A follow-up survey

Anne Pohju, Anne Marie Beck, Kerstin Belqaid, Henrik Højgaard Rasmussen

Publication date: December 2018

Source: Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, Volume 28

Author(s): Anne Pohju, Anne Marie Beck, Kerstin Belqaid, Henrik Højgaard Rasmussen

Background and aims

Time to treat malnutrition during hospital admission is limited due to short hospital stays. Therefore, nutritional care often needs to be continued after discharge from hospital. However, health care professionals’ attitudes and discharge routines may not always support continuity of good nutritional practice. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in nutritional discharge routines and related attitudes in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) over a 10-year period.


A survey among doctors and nurses in Scandinavian hospitals was conducted in 2012/2014 and results were compared with an identical survey from 2004. Differences between countries were also studied.


Response rate in 2012/2014 survey was 25% with 2733 questionnaires returned. There was a statistically significant difference between the countries regarding proportions of respondents reporting routinely measuring patients’ weight at discharge (Denmark 14% vs. Norway 4% vs. Sweden 22%, p < 0.0005). However, these proportions had increased since the 2004 survey in all countries. In Denmark and Sweden, evaluation of nutritional status at discharge was more often stated to be a standard procedure in 2012/2014 compared to 2004 (10% vs. 18%, p < 0.0005; 8% vs. 15%, p < 0.0005, respectively). A statistically significant increase was found in the proportion of Danish and Swedish participants responding that the nutritional regimens initiated during hospital stay are always included in discharge summaries (35% vs 41%, p < 0.004; 51% vs. 63%, p < 0.0005, respectively).


The results suggest a positive development in the nutritional discharge routines. Nevertheless, there appears to be room for improvement. Differences in the nutritional practices still exist between the Scandinavian countries.

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