Identifying and managing malnutrition in people with learning disabilities
Intended for healthcare professionals
CPD    

Identifying and managing malnutrition in people with learning disabilities

Karen Ullian Lead dietitian, Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities West, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Aldershot, England
Briony Caffrey Dietetic clinical lead for learning disabilities, Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust, Bodmin, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the potential causes of malnutrition in people with learning disabilities

  • To learn about strategies to use in your practice to manage malnutrition

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

People with learning disabilities are at greater risk of malnutrition compared with the general population. Congenital conditions and mental health issues significantly increase this risk. Further, inadequate access to equipment, such as weighing scales, and challenges related to the provision of social support can be barriers to ensuring adequate nutritional status in this population. This article discusses malnutrition as a health inequality experienced by people with learning disabilities. It describes the effects of malnutrition in this population, explores how to identify the causes of malnutrition and outlines various management strategies. The authors also consider some of the challenges associated with managing malnutrition in people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, dysphagia and dementia.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2181

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

karen.ullian@sabp.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Ullian K, Caffrey B (2022) Identifying and managing malnutrition in people with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2181

Published online: 28 July 2022

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