Healthcare Professional's Knowledge, Perception and Performance on Early Enteral Nutrition for Critically Ill Patients
대한중환자의학회지, Vol.27(1) : 36~44, 2012
Background: Proper nutritional supplement is one of the fundamental management domains for critical ill patients.
While it shows positive effect on processing and prognosis of critical ill patients, early enteral nutrition is overlooked.
This study explored healthcare professional’s level of knowledge perception and performance on early enteral
nutrition for critically ill patients. Data was collected from a convenient sample of 319 registered doctors, nurses
and nutritionists in ICU at seven university hospitals.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. The participants were assessed by questionnaires, specifically
designed for the study and verified for the content validity by professional reviewers related with critical ill patients.
Results: While the level of the perception of early enteral nutrition is high, the level of knowledge and performance
are relatively low. The nurses showed a statistically significant difference on the level of knowledge, by their
educational backgrounds and clinical experiences. Regarding the hospital support system, the doctors showed a significant
difference on the level of perception and performance, while the nurses only showed that difference on the
level of performance. It was shown that with higher the level of knowledge regarding the early enteral nutrition, the
higher the level of performance. Further, the higher the level of perception, the higher the level of performance was
observed. The hospital support system and the perception of the healthcare professionals are two most influential
factors to affect the performance of the healthcare professionals related with the early enteral nutrition for the critically
Conclusion: To perform the proper early enteral nutrition, the hospital support system and the level of the healthcare
professionals’ perception, are two most important factors. Therefore, the efforts to build the hospital support
system along with the educational provisions are needed.