Many patients do not eat and drink sufficiently during hospitalization. surveys have shown that 30-50% of the elderly patients are undernurished when hospitalized, and for the majority of these patients their protein and energy requirements are not met during hospitalization. deseased people often experience reduced appetite, aversion against certain types of food or nausea, and these symptomes are part of the explanation for insufficient consumption of food and drinks. In order to locate other possible explanations, this study investigate medical inpatients' experiences and satisfaction with the nutritional care.The patients includeed a total of 91 medical inpatients at two internal medical wards, aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. Their average age was 72 (+/-) 11 yerars. They were individually interviewed about the fodd service ad the nutritinal care upon discharge.Patients satifaction with the meals was overall high (90%). About 80% found the meals to be very important, but they lacked information about the food service, and the patient-staff communication about the food service was poor. The reults indicate that the nursing staff was exercising a 'knowledge monopoly' in relation to the food service. In conclusion, a majority of the patients dis not perceive the nutritional care as part of the therapy and nursing care during their hospitalization.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 2005, Vol 19, Issue 3, p. 259-267