Ward-based nutrition care practices and a snapshot of patient care: Results from nutritionDay in the ICU

Joshua Pearcy*, Ekta Agarwal, Elizabeth Isenring, Ananya Somani, Charlene Wright, Bhuvaneshwari Shankar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)



Poor adherence to intensive care unit (ICU) guidelines is common, leading to suboptimal nutritional care. This study determined current ward-based nutrition care practices in the Indian ICU setting, comparing them to international best-practice guidelines and provided patient demographic, clinical and nutritional information to serve as baseline data for future benchmarking. 


This multi-site cross-sectional retrospective study analysed data collected from nutritionDay worldwide audits (2012–2016) across ICUs from a chain of urban private hospitals in India. Additional guideline-specific data were collected through questionnaires and phone interviews with the Head of Dietetics Departments in the participating hospitals. 


Overall, 10 ICUs and 457 participants were included. It was common practice to use modified versions of the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF) and Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) for nutrition screening and assessment. Nearly half the participants (n = 222, 49%) received nutrition orally. A majority of the remaining participants received enteral nutrition (n = 163, 36%) or no nutrition (n = 60, 13%) at the time of data collection. The calories prescribed for most participants were between 1500 and 1999 kilocalories per day (n = 207, 45%), with no nutrition planned for 115 (25%) participants. Three-quarters (n = 129, 74%) of participants on EN received the planned calories, while 24% (n = 42) were given less than planned. 


Overall, most participants received the calories planned for enteral nutrition. The use of modified screening and assessment tools and suboptimal delivery of EN remains a global problem for critical care, possibly requiring a more pragmatic approach to nutritional therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Early online date17 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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