Comparison of two procedures for nutritional assessment
In this study two methods of nutritional assessment were compared by evaluating the attitudes of health professionals concerning usefulness of the procedure and by determining the accuracy of diagnoses and time involved using the methods. The two procedures of assessment were the traditional "eye-ball" or observation method and a written method involving laboratory and anthropometric measurements. Thirty-eight persons, including physicians, nurses, dietitians, a medical school instructor, and students of related disciplines, were the subjects of this study.In addition to being more up to date, the subjects felt the written method was significantly more useful than the traditional method in terms of accuracy, organization, logical order, preciseness, value, understandability, use of form, and completeness. The traditional method was found to be more appealing to the subjects in terms of time saved, ease of use, and simplicity. The traditional method was found to be much quicker to complete but the written method was found to give significantly more correct diagnoses. In conclusion, the written method was found to be significantly more useful due to its logical approach to diagnosing the nutritional status of the hospitalized patients; however, its use would be curtailed due to the amount of time required to complete the procedure unless protocol were established whereby some other member of the health care team could take the responsibility for completing the procedure, thus relieving thephysician of the duty.