Exchange of information on malnourished patients: Reporting is scarce

  • Klinkenberg M
  • Van Binsbergen J
  • Strack Van Schijnael R
  • et al.
ISSN: 00187070
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Objective: To obtain insight into the exchange of information on nutritional status and nutritional support between hospital and general practitioner. Design: Prospective cohort study in newly admitted patients to the internal medicine department of a teaching hospital. Method: Nutritional status was assessed in all patients admitted to the Internal Medicine department VU University Medical Center (Amsterdam) over a period of 2 months. Malnourished patients' letters of referral and discharge were analysed for exchange of nutritional information between clinicians and GPs. The GP filled in a short questionnaire regarding the malnourished patients three months after discharge (n=13). Results: 106 patients were eligible to be included in the study, 70 patients participated (66% response), 24 patients were malnourished (34%). In seven cases a GP referral was found in the medical record, three of which included nutritional information. The discharge letters contained no information on body weight, nutrition or nutritional status in 40% of the cases. In the other cases only fragmentary notes referring to nutrition were included. No advice for follow-up was given in order to support nutrition after discharge. Re-admission to hospital occurred frequently in the malnourished patients and GPs were scarcely aware of their patients' nutritional status three months after discharge (n=13). Conclusion: Exchange of information on nutritional status and treatment between hospital and GP was unsystematic and poor.




Klinkenberg, M., Van Binsbergen, J. J., Strack Van Schijnael, R. J. M., Thijs, A., & Van Bokhorst-De Van Der Schueren, M. (2005). Exchange of information on malnourished patients: Reporting is scarce. Huisarts En Wetenschap, 48(5).

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