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Malnutrition is a major international and Australian health problem, which continues to be unrecognised and therefore, untreated. It is both a cause and a consequence of ill health across many patient groups and healthcare settings. Malnutrition interferes with patients' ability to benefit from health treatments and affects every domain of their well‐being. Additionally, it increases society's healthcare costs.
This paper, ‘Evidence based practice guidelines for nutritional management of malnutrition in adult patients across the continuum of care’, has been developed to gather the best available evidence for detecting malnutrition and managing it with nutritional interventions.
The Guideline Steering Committee hopes to influence health care providers and especially dietitians to increase capacity within Australia to implement affordable detection systems, such as routine malnutrition screening. It is expected that the guidelines will provide a framework for evidence‐based nutritional assessments and increase access to appropriate patient‐focussed treatments for affected adults that are timely and occur both within and across hospital and primary care sectors.
These guidelines are based on an agreed and rigorous process undertaken by the Steering Committee, and in accordance with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) performance standards. They have resulted from the voluntary contribution of a collaboration of dietitians with clinical and research expertise across a range of practice settings.
The process involved a systematic search of the literature, an assessment of the strength of the evidence, consultation with key stakeholders and the development of evidence‐based statements and practice tips that may help to guide clinical practice and improve patient experience and health outcomes in Australian healthcare sectors for malnourished adults.
The dissemination and implementation of the recommendations of the guidelines will be supported by the DAA.
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