An audit to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of Iranian medical specialists towards Oral Nutritional Supplements
Background: Disease related malnutrition (DRM) has been an important problem in all health care settings for many years and is associated with an increased risk of adverse clinical outcomes. Nutritional interventions with ONS are associated with fewer numbers of hospital admissions and shorter duration of hospital stay.
Objective: The objective of the present study was to investigate the knowledge and attitude of medical specialists regarding ONS prescribing practices.
Methods: A total sample of 120 medical specialists were recruited from two hospitals in northeastern Iran. Sixty medical specialists from Imam Reza Hospital and sixty medical specialists from Ghaem Hospital were randomly selected. A questionnaire was administered by face-to-face interview to each participant.
Results: Only a small number of medical specialists reported the use of screening tools to ascertain whether a patient requires ONS. Both medical specialists in Imam Reza (44%) and Ghaem (36.8%) hospitals reported increased prescription of ONS in recent years. Only 38.5% of the medical specialists said that they would monitor the patient after prescribing ONS. Only 32.9% of medical specialists stated that they have received training on use of ONS in the past. Around 41% of medical specialists stated that they have no idea about the calorie content of a standard 200 mL carton of ONS.
Conclusion: The results of the present study raise concerns regarding the appropriateness of current ONS transcriptions among hospitalized patients. Therefore, there is a need for targeted educational interventions for medical specialists in order to promote the use of ONS in hospitalized patients.
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