Malnutrition is a common complication in inflammatory bowel disease. It is thought to occur because of chronic intestinal inflammation, among other factors. In order to better understand issues surrounding malnutrition, researchers surveyed 223 providers and 567 patients with IBD and learned the following:
- Healthcare provider knowledge about nutrition in IBD was varied: only 41% of gastroenterologists and 16% of nurses rated their knowledge of nutrition in IBD as "very good." Dietitians fared the best with 87% rating their knowledge as “very good.”
- Less than half of all providers felt they had adequate nutritional care resources to facilitate discussions with their IBD patients.
- Patient knowledge of nutrition in IBD was also varied with 27% rating their knowledge as "very good," and 58.5% stating that nutrition was "very important" as an IBD management strategy.
- Only 2/3 of gastroenterologists reported regular screenings of their patients for malnutrition, and only 1/3 of patients reported even talking with their physician about nutrition.
The researchers conducting the study concluded that "targeted educational initiatives and improved access to nutritional experts are warranted. In addition, a standardized process for the assessment of malnutrition among patients with IBD should be developed."
Reference: Tinsley A, Ehrlich O, Hwang C, et al. Knowledge, Attitues, and Beliefs Regarding the Role of Nutrition in IBD Among Patients and Providers. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. October 2016. Vol. 22. Issue 10. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000901
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