Nutrition and Involuntary Weight Loss: A Pilot Study of an Educational Intervention for Nursing Home Surveyors

Joan C. Chang, Thomas E. Finucane, Colleen Christmas, William Vaughan, Jack Schwartz, Bruce Leff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To describe the knowledge and attitudes of nursing home (NH) surveyors before and after a brief educational intervention related to nutrition and involuntary weight loss in nursing home residents. Design: A questionnaire covering knowledge and attitudes about nutrition was given 1 month before and 6 months after a targeted educational intervention. Participants and Setting: State of Maryland nursing home surveyors. Measurements: A 24-item questionnaire of NH surveyor knowledge (11 items) and attitudes (13 items) regarding issues related to nutrition and involuntary weight loss in NH residents. Results: Overall surveyors' knowledge scores increased from 68% (SD, 17%) pre-intervention to 76% (SD, 18%) post-intervention (P = .11). Knowledge related to the lack of the effect of tube feeding on survival in NH residents with end-stage dementia was the only knowledge item that improved significantly with the intervention (39% correct pre-intervention and 68% correct post-intervention, P = .04). There were no changes in attitudes toward the diagnosis or treatment of nutrition after the intervention. Conclusion: Overall, NH surveyor knowledge related to nutrition and involuntary weight loss varied widely across topic areas. Neither knowledge nor attitudes were substantially affected by a brief educational intervention. Development of effective educational interventions for NH surveyors should be a priority for stakeholders in NH care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Nursing home
  • involuntary weight loss
  • nutrition
  • surveyors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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