What Internists Should Know about Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients

Main Article Content

Christopher Oleynick
Elaine Chiu
Haley Pomreinke
Maitreyi Raman

Keywords

internists, malnutrition, poor outcomes, length of stay

Abstract

There is a high prevalence of malnutrition amongst hospitalized patients in Canada which is associated with poor outcomes including increased length of stay, readmission rates and mortality. Despite its ubiquity, malnutrition is often underdiagnosed and undertreated which is of concern because intervention has been shown to improve many of these outcomes, including mortality. In Canada, an interdisciplinary group called the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force has developed a framework for the screening of, diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition which has been successfully implemented at multiple sites across the country. Despite advancements in the field, many clinicians report feeling unknowledgeable about nutrition management as there is minimal training provided in most medical school and residency curriculums. This is a short review article highlighting the essentials of what we believe internists should know about malnutrition in hospitalized patients.



Résumé
Parmi les patients hospitalisés au Canada, on constate une forte prévalence de malnutrition qui est associée à de mauvais résultats, notamment une augmentation de la durée d’hospitalisation, du taux de réhospitalisation et de la mortalité. Malgré son omniprésence, la malnutrition est souvent sousdiagnostiquée et partiellement traitée, ce qui est préoccupant, car il a été démontré qu’une intervention pouvait améliorer bon nombre de ces résultats, y compris la mortalité. Au Canada, un groupe interdisciplinaire appelé le Groupe de travail canadien sur la malnutrition a élaboré un cadre pour le dépistage, le diagnostic et le traitement de la malnutrition qui a été mis en œuvre avec succès à plusieurs endroits un peu partout au pays. Malgré les progrès réalisés dans ce domaine, beaucoup de cliniciens estiment manquer de connaissances sur la gestion de la nutrition, car la plupart des curriculums des écoles de médecine et des programmes de résidence ne prévoient qu’une formation minimale dans ce domaine. Ce court article de synthèse met en lumière l’essentiel de ce que nous pensons que les internistes devraient savoir à propos de la malnutrition chez les patients hospitalisés.

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