Water, water everywhere: dehydration in the midst of plenty – An observational study of barriers and enablers to adequate hydration in older hospitalized patients

Judy McCrow, Margaret Morton, Catherine Travers, Keren Harvey, Eamonn Eeles


While dehydration is common in older patients and is associated with poor outcomes, it has been infrequently studied in the hospital setting. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify potential barriers and enablers to the maintenance of adequate hydration in older patients in an acute hospital environment. An observational study, involving patients aged 60 years and older admitted to an acute care hospital in Queensland, Australia, was undertaken. Forty-four patients were observed during mealtimes, and chart and room audits were performed to identify hydration management strategies, weight records and the presence or absence of fluid balance charts. Results revealed a number of system and practice-related barriers including patient difficulties with opening fluid containers and low levels of documentation of hydration management strategies. Addressing these issues is an important first step towards improving the management of hydration in medically ill older hospital patients.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v4n2p1


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.