Practical tools to prevent malnutrition in the elderly - by the MaNuEL Knowledge Hub
The “Malnutrition in the Elderly Knowledge Hub” (MaNuEL) recently finished and delivered practice-oriented recommendations about malnutrition in the elderly. MaNuEL was a consortium of 22 research partners from 7 JPI HDHL countries. The consortium worked together for two and a half years to summarize and improve the current scientific knowledge about different aspects of malnutrition in older persons. The activities focused on gaining scientific knowledge on malnutrition in old age, to harmonize research and clinical practice across Europe, and to stimulate optimal screening and treatment of malnutrition in older persons.
The MaNuEL project has resulted in many important findings that strengthen evidence-based practice. For example, the consortium developed and applied a scoring system to evaluate malnutrition screening instruments for older adults in different settings. This tool can be used in the clinical practice to select the most suitable and validated screening tool.
In addition to this, MaNuEL also developed the so-called DoMAP model that can support health care professionals to identify determinants of malnutrition in elderly people.
All research findings of the MaNuEL project are summarised in a Toolbox: a practical way to disseminate the most important results. The Toolbox is understandable for non-researcher stakeholders, and promotes the implementation of the MaNuEL results in clinical practice and policy. The Toolbox is freely available, and a PDF version can be downloaded here.
Improving education: online open course about malnutrition
The MaNuEL project also focused on the education of health care professionals on the topic of malnutrition in older adults. The consortium conducted an online survey to gain information about the curriculum content on malnutrition in basic study programs for nurses and medical doctors. It appeared that the topic of malnutrition is not adequately covered in the curricula of nursing and medical education institutions. To support the education of health care professionals on this topic, MaNuEL developed a massive open online course (MOOC) about malnutrition in older adults. The MOOC is already available in the German language with English subtitles, and can be found here.