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Practical strategies for treating malnutrition in the community

In an earlier article in this journal, the author looked at malnutrition in the community from the patient's perspective (JCN, 28(2): 40–4). Here, she examines some practical tips on how community nurses can provide help for patients in danger of becoming malnourished. Malnutrition may have been caused by a chronic problem that has resulted in years of gradual deterioration and prompt action can prevent malnutrition escalating further and affecting the patient’s overall health. In this case, more detailed and supportive treatment from family, friends and healthcare services may be required to help implement changes in a patient's routine. By using some of the ideas highlighted in this article, and with regular monitoring and support, nurses can better help patients in the community to recover quickly from, or avoid, malnutrition.