Malnutrition in hospitals is common and usually identified by weight loss. However, weight loss does not give information about body composition - the amount of fat and muscle in the body. Malnutrition often causes muscle loss and this is associated with poor outcomes.
Dietitians aim to improve or stabilise muscle mass and as such, assessing muscle mass of their patients, it is expected that this would improve outcomes. There are many barriers and enablers to perform muscle mass as part of dietitian care in hospitals. At Mater Hospital Dietetics and Food Services, dietitians identified these barriers and enablers and set up a project to develop a strategy that will enable the implementation of muscle mass assessment into routine care.