Background & Aims: Hospital malnutrition is prevalent, but nutritional practice in hospitals has a low priority. To improve the quality in nutritional routine, ESPEN has developed standards to improve the inadequate and insufficient nutritional treatments seen today. However, there is a discrepancy between the standards and clinical practice. This study was conducted to investigate nutritional practice in different hospital settings in relation to these standards (e.g.: screening of all patients, assessment of at-risk patients) among Scandinavian doctors and nurses. Methods: A questionnaire about nutritional attitudes and routine was mailed to doctors and nurses in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Results: Altogether, 4512 (1753 doctors, 2759 nurses) answered the questionnaire. Both screening and assessment of at-risk patients differ between the countries. Nutritional screening was more common in Denmark (40%), compared to Sweden (21%) and Norway (16%). Measuring dietary intake in nutritional at-risk patients was more common in Denmark (46%), compared to Sweden (37%) and Norway (22%). However, all countries agreed that nutritional screening (92%, 88%, 88%) and measuring dietary intake (97%, 95%, 97%) were important, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, respectively. Conclusion: There is a large discrepancy between nutritional attitudes and practice. The standards suggested from the ESPEN are not fulfilled. © 2005.
2006. Vol. 25, no 3, 524-532 p.