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
CDR, C (2021). Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/nutrition-support-practices-in-ghanaian-hospitals
Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/nutrition-support-practices-in-ghanaian-hospitals . Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.
Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/nutrition-support-practices-in-ghanaian-hospitals >.
Coalition, CDR. "Nutrition Support Practices In Ghanaian Hospitals" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 16, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/nutrition-support-practices-in-ghanaian-hospitals