Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals

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ABSTRACT Background: Nutrition support remains a key component of medical care. It is beneficial for critically ill patients with eating difficulties and their inability to meet their nutritional requirements. Nutrition support has been shown to positively affect clinical outcomes. Notwithstanding, there is paucity of published data on nutrition support practices and delivery in Ghanaian hospitals. Aim: To investigate nutrition support and its related practices in hospitals in Ghana. Method: A cross-sectional study design was employed. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 137 healthcare professionals involved in nutrition support in 17 health facilities in Ghana. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on hospital demographics, profile of clinicians, nutrition support delivery and monitoring practices. Data were analysed using SPSS version 23.0. Descriptive statistics were summarized as frequencies and percentages. Data were presented in charts, tables and figures. Pearson’s Chi-square was used to determine the association between categorical variables. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results: Less than a quarter (22.0%), and 54.9% of the respondents indicated that they had a formal nutrition support guideline and nutrition support team in their facility respectively. Majority of the respondents indicated that they routinely screened patients in their facility (84.7%), and the dietitian (85.7%) was the main professional involved in nutrition screening. Unsuccessful oral nutrition (64.0%), and the use of apparent/obvious clinical indications (46.3%) were the main determinants of initiating enteral and parenteral nutrition respectively. Participants mainly used clinical judgement (81.4%), and professional experience (58.5%) as the basis for enter nutrition support decision. However, the basis for parenteral nutrition decision was based solely on clinical judgement (73.2%). Less than half of the respondents (42.0%) reported that they had an above average competence in nutrition support, with a greater proportion being dietitians (69.2%). Conclusion: Findings of this study showed that although health professionals were involved in nutrition support, most of their practices were not consistent with recommended or published guidelines. Most of them relied greatly on clinical judgement as the basis for enteral and parenteral nutrition decision making

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CDR, C (2021). Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from

MLA 8th

Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals", 08 Apr. 2021, . Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.


Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals".,, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. < >.


Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals" (2021). Accessed April 16, 2021.