Critical Care Nurses’ Perceptions of Enteral Nutrition: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study

The Open Nursing Journal 30 December 2022 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18744346-v16-e221124-2022-74


Background and Objective:

Nutritional support is an essential component of critical care with a significant effect on the outcomes of critically ill patients. Critical care nurses are in a central position to achieve nutritional goals and preserve the nutritional status of patients at best. This study aimed to investigate the critical care nurses’ perceptions of the responsibility, knowledge, and documentation system support regarding enteral nutrition.


Data were collected from 292 critical care nurses in different healthcare sectors in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, using a quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional design. A self-administered questionnaire containing 50 items was used for data collection. The data were collected between March and June 2021. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 was used for the data analysis.


The study found that most critical care units did not have guidelines, protocols, or a nutritional support team, and the physicians prescribed enteral nutrition. The critical care nurses perceived they had a low responsibility, insufficient knowledge, and moderate documentation support regarding enteral nutrition. The nurses in private hospitals had the highest responsibility, the nurses who received in-service education about enteral nutrition reported the highest level of knowledge, and the nurses in the Neuro critical care units had the best support from a documentation system. Scientific workshops and conferences were the main sources of knowledge regarding enteral nutrition. The nurses’ educational needs included the ability to evaluate the outcomes, goal setting, and nutritional assessment.


The critical care nurses perceived a low responsibility, low level of knowledge, and moderate support from a documentation system regarding enteral nutrition. There is an urgent need to create or adopt enteral nutrition evidence-based guidelines and protocols and establish a multidisciplinary nutritional support team with clear roles and responsibilities. In-service education and training related to enteral nutrition are paramount.

Keywords: Enteral nutrition, Critical care, Critical care nurses, Perceptions, Healthcare sectors, Critically ill patients.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub