Nutrition focused physical examination and assessment (NFPE&A) refers to a head to toe physical examination by a Dietitian to determine signs and symptoms of malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies and factors impacting food and fluid intake and dysphagia risk, including inspection and palpation of the head, neck, mouth, muscle and fat stores and skin and cranial nerve examination. Integration of NFPE&A training and education can increase NFPE conduct by students in supervised practice and professional clinical practice as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).
Benefits of NFPE&A include:
- Appropriate for training RDNs across all levels of practice.
- Been in use for educating dietetic interns and students and nutrition faculty globally.
- Greater depth and breadth, and interactivity, which is essential for learning, than is available from other alternatives such as books and online education.
"Malnutrition is a major contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, decreased function and quality of life, increased frequency and length of hospital stay and higher health care coasts."* It is characterized by muscle and fat wasting, fluid accumulation (edema), decreased functional status, weight loss, and poor dietary intake.
A nutrition focused physical examination and assessment (NPFE&A), which can be performed by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to identify its diagnosis, and to establish an intervention and monitoring plan to reduce further complications and health care costs.
Researchers and educators in the Department
of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences at Rutgers University’s School
of Health Professions have created a unique curriculum and training program for
learning how to conduct nutrition focused physical examination and assessment
(NPFE&A). The curriculum is a
series of computer assisted instruction (CAI) modules that provide
instruction and demonstration of NPFE&A of the orofacial region, upper
body muscle and fat stores, and skin along with dysphagia and malnutrition risk.
The content covers knowledge and skills essential for registered dietitian
nutritionists (RDNs) to use as part of comprehensive nutrition care.
NFPE&A is a multi-media module
that is available for use on virtual learning platforms. The module includes media and content
including; audio and video presentations, related reading materials, case
studies, knowledge testing, and asynchronous discussion
forums. Simulated practice assessment
and live educational sessions on NFPE&A skills occur through a virtual
Market Opportunities for the NFPE&A Modules
- Consultants and other service providers providing training for RDNs or other professionals with a need to conduct NFPE&A.
- Nutrition and dietetics educators and residency directors from entry to advanced practice
- Integration of the curriculum into other existing nutritional educational materials available on digital learning platforms.
For information about courses offered by Rutgers University School of Health Care Professions, Department of Nutritional Sciences for continuing professional education of registered dietican nutritionists, click: http://shp.rutgers.edu/dept/nutr/INI/cpe.html