Nurses estimating body weight and height to screen for malnutrition in bedridden patients : good practice?
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
E-SPEN : the European e-journal of clinical nutrition and metabolism. - Place of publication unknown, 2006 - 2011
, p. e202-e206
University of Antwerp
Background & aims Body height and weight are required to screen for malnutrition. In practice, body weight and height are at times estimated based on nurses own judgements. How accurate are nurses estimations of body weight and height? Methods Body weight and height of a volunteer simulating a bedridden patient was to be estimated by qualified nurses. Results One-tailed T-tests on the difference scores of the estimated and measured variables yielded significant results for weight and height, but not for body mass index suggesting significant differences between estimated and real parameters of weight and height. Multiple regression analyses showed no significant effect of nurses body weight or height on the difference score, nor did the nurses body mass index, age, gender and years of job experience yielded any significant results on any of the difference scores. Conclusions Nurses estimations for weight and height are not accurate. One in four nurse participants classified the patient into a wrong category of body mass index. Deviations in estimated versus measured body weight and height are not influenced by nurses own body weight and height nor by their age, gender or years of job experience. These results are discussed in the line of existing research.