Hydration: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of UK Dietitians

03 Oct 2017

Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate dietitians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding hydration and patient care. Methods. A cross-sectional online survey was administered to UK dietitians via the British Dietetic Association monthly newsletter and included 18 items on hydration knowledge (n=8), attitudes (n=4), and practices (n=6). KAP scores were calculated by adding the total number of correct knowledge responses and by ranking attitude and practice responses on a Likert scale. Results. 97 dietitians completed the online survey and displayed varying levels of KAP regarding hydration and patient care. The mean unweighted scores were knowledge 5.0 (±1.3) out of 8; attitude 13.9 (±1.3) out of 16; practice 14.9 (±2.6) out of 24. Dietitians appeared to be guided by clinical reasoning and priorities for nutrition care. Conclusions. There may be scope to further assess and potentially enhance the KAP of dietitians regarding hydration and patient care. Innovative approaches to hydration promotion are warranted and may include focusing on dietitians’ personal hydration status, increasing communication with other healthcare professionals, and partnering with patients to take a proactive role in hydration monitoring.