Using 'nutritional narrative' and focus groups to understand how nutritional care can better prioritised for older people in hospital settings
Discussion group

Poor nutritional status among older people is well documented with 40% of older people reported as malnourished on hospital admission. Poor nutrition contributes to increased infection, poorer patient outcomes and death and longer hospital stays. 

In this study, we assessed the ‘nutrition narrative’ from older hospital patients together with nutrition knowledge among nursing and medical staff and students. Methods: The study used a convenience sample of older people (30, mean age 82 years) in two large geographically separate city hospitals. 

Patients mentally alert and consenting, gave a recorded ‘nutrition narrative’ to get a sense of how they felt their nutritional needs were being met in hospital. Main themes were identified by grounded analysis framework. Focus groups were recruited from medical/nursing teachers and students to assess their working knowledge of nutrition and the nutritional needs of the older patient group.

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