Knowledge and attitudes of nursing staff towards malnutrition care in nursing homes: A multicentre cross-sectional study

S. Bauer*, R. J. G. Halfens, C. Lohrmann

*Corresponding author for this work

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The international literature shows that there are considerable deficits in nutritional care provision in nursing homes. Limited knowledge and negative attitudes can contribute to these deficits but international studies on knowledge and attitudes among nursing staff are rare. The study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of registered nurses and nurse aides towards malnutrition care in nursing homes. This study followed a multicentre, cross sectional design. Setting and Participants: The study was performed in 66 Austrian nursing homes with 1152 participants. The validated Knowledge of Malnutrition-Geriatric (KoM-G) questionnaire and the Staff Attitudes to Nutritional Nursing Care Geriatric (SANN-G) scale were used for data collection. On average, 60.6% of the respondents answered the questions correctly, whereas registered nurses knew significantly more (65.6%) than nurse aides (57.3%). The question that was answered correctly by most dealt with the factors that positively affect oral nutritional intake (87.2%) while the question which was incorrectly answered by most was on the professions involved in malnutrition treatment (26.1%). 39.2% of respondents had positive attitudes towards nutritional care. Registered nurses displayed more positive attitudes (48.1%) than nurse aides (33.6%). The most positive attitudes were shown in the 'Intervention' subscale while the least positive attitudes were indicated in the 'Norms' subscale. A medium positive correlation between knowledge and attitudes was found (r=.423, p <0.000). This study identified specific knowledge deficits and areas of negative attitudes in registered nurses and nurse aides, which will enable tailored training programmes to be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-740
JournalJournal of Nutrition Health & Aging
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Knowledge
  • attitudes
  • nursing staff
  • malnutrition
  • nursing homes

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