Hydration is essential for life but clinical guidelines on hydration are lacking. Dietitians assess, diagnose and treat nutritional problems for individuals in the UK, ideally placing them to deliver on both acute clinical and preventative aspects of hydration care. The aim of this study was to identify key topics for a training intervention to promote incorporation of hydration care into dietetic practice. A review of literature identified key topics for a cross-sectional online survey for UK dietitians, containing 18 items on hydration knowledge (n8), attitudes (n4) and practices (n6). Ninety-seven dietitians completed the survey which prioritised topics for an educational intervention. Knowledge questions where the majority (70%) of dietitians answered correctly were; impact of dehydration on performance tasks (94%), physical signs of dehydration (92%) and the definition of dehydration (76%). More than half of dietitians answered the following knowledge questions incorrectly; European Food Safety Authority fluid requirements for adults (60%), proportion of food and fluids contributing to fluid intakes in UK (65%), water content of the human body (55%). Attitudes towards hydration were favourable (14 ±1.3 out of 16) but self-reported practice scores identified room for improvement (15 ±2.6 out of 24). In summary, acute clinical hydration knowledge questions scored highly. Hydration knowledge in relation to the general population and personal hydration practices could be identified as key target areas for education. This research was funded by Danone Waters.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2015|