Simple training tool is insufficient for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition: A pre-post intervention study in a tertiary center.

Aeberhard, Carla; Birrenbach, Tanja Nicole; Joray, Maya Lucia; Mühlebach, Stefan; Perrig, Martin; Stanga, Zeno (2016). Simple training tool is insufficient for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition: A pre-post intervention study in a tertiary center. Nutrition, 32(3), pp. 355-361. Elsevier 10.1016/j.nut.2015.09.012

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To improve malnutrition awareness and management in our department of general internal medicine; to assess patients' nutritional risk; and to evaluate whether an online educational program leads to an increase in basic knowledge and more frequent nutritional therapies.


A prospective pre-post intervention study at a university department of general internal medicine was conducted. Nutritional screening using Nutritional Risk Score 2002 (NRS 2002) was performed, and prescriptions of nutritional therapies were assessed. The intervention included an online learning program and a pocket card for all residents, who had to fill in a multiple-choice questions (MCQ) test about basic nutritional knowledge before and after the intervention.


A total of 342 patients were included in the preintervention phase, and 300 were in the postintervention phase. In the preintervention phase, 54.1% were at nutritional risk (NRS 2002 ≥3) compared with 61.7% in the postintervention phase. There was no increase in the prescription of nutritional therapies (18.7% versus 17.0%). Forty-nine and 41 residents (response rate 58% and 48%) filled in the MCQ test before and after the intervention, respectively. The mean percentage of correct answers was 55.6% and 59.43%, respectively (which was not significant). Fifty of 84 residents completed the online program. The residents who participated in the whole program scored higher on the second MCQ test (63% versus 55% correct answers, P = 0.031).


Despite a high ratio of malnourished patients, the nutritional intervention, as assessed by nutritional prescriptions, is insufficient. However, the simple educational program via Internet and usage of NRS 2002 pocket cards did not improve either malnutrition awareness or nutritional treatment. More sophisticated educational systems to fight malnutrition are necessary.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine > Centre of Competence for General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Joray, Maya Lucia, Mühlebach, Stefan, Perrig, Martin, Stanga, Zeno


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Markus Laimer

Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2016 09:22

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:27

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Educational intervention; Malnutrition management; Online learning program; Protein energy malnutrition




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