Holistic assessment

Holistic assessment

Statement 6.8

On admission, patients with IBD should have an assessment of nutritional status, mental health and pain management using validated tools and be referred to services and support as appropriate.

Why is it important?

Patients with IBD who are admitted to hospital need appropriate multidisciplinary support to ensure optimal outcomes. This should include routine documentation of nutritional intake, weight measurement and dietetic review. Malnutrition is common for people with IBD – and this has a significant effect on their recovery from a flare or surgery. So it’s important that nursing care plans identify nutrition as a key element of day-to-day care.

IBD can have a serious psychological impact, especially during a time of critical illness or when facing life-changing surgery. That’s why it’s so important to consider mental health and provide support to IBD patients if necessary.

The IBD Inpatient Experience Audit found that 85% of patients experienced some pain during their stay in hospital, with half reporting it was usually severe. A quarter of adults with pain indicated that they were in pain “all or most of the time” and 16% thought they did not receive enough pain relief medication. Results for children were similar although insufficient pain medication was reported in 12%. This highlights a need for hospital teams to focus on monitoring and treating pain in this group of patients.

Timely pain relief is so important – I used to go hours in terrible pain, but I now take my own pain relief to hospital with me and keep it in my bag.

Respondent to IBD Standards survey