Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nancy S. Wellman

Third Advisor's Name

Kathleen Blais

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dian Weddle

Date of Defense

7-25-2003

Abstract

This descriptive study examined whether discharge planning ensures that food and nutrition services are provided to older adults following hospital discharge. The questionnaire was distributed to discharge planning professionals in 11 South Florida hospitals. Of the 84 respondents (88% response rate), most were female nurse case managers. Almost all reported job barriers including excessive patient loads, too many responsibilities, and limited community services. While physicians, registered nurses, social workers, physical therapists, were deemed "very important" in discharge planning,
registered dietitians were not, and almost half consulted them infrequently, if at all. Over 84% said nutrition-related medical conditions/factors, "strongly influenced" discharge planning. Many did not have adequate information about nutrition-related community resources, eg, home delivered meals, food stamps, outpatient registered dietitians. There
were no universal approaches in meeting the nutrition needs in 6 case scenarios. More communication among community services and hospitals is needed.

Identifier

FI14050411

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