The understanding of health care providers’ experiences involved in malnutrition treatment is a key component that should be explored.
This systematic review aimed to explore the views and perceptions of community health care providers related to malnutrition and its management for older adults, through synthesizing the qualitative studies.
Six electronic databases were used to search relevant articles. Qualitative research synthesis using Sandelowski and Barroso’s method and thematic synthesis were used to broaden the range of methodology in this study. Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Critical Appraisal Tools for Qualitative Research was used to enable judgement about the strength of qualitative research.
A total of four qualitative studies of health care providers’ views and perceptions related to malnutrition in older adults were analysed. The results showed that there are three main themes that reflect their malnutrition experiences: (i) knowledge and skills about malnutrition, (ii) management of malnutrition and (iii) the need for collaborative teams.
While health care professionals understand about the aetiology of malnutrition, however screening for malnutrition is not routine in their practice. Proper education and training about nutritional care is needed. Dietary changes and public education are preferable over oral nutritional supplements. Some solution and recommendations for management of malnutrition in older adult such as supportive interventions include environmental changes, nutritional counselling, food modification, oral nutrition supplement and pharmacotherapy if needed, routine screening and multidisciplinary approach.
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