A dietitian's role in stroke rehabilitation extends beyond secondary prevention.

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I noted Mr Tannerís assessments by other team members including: dental hygiene being managed by the OT and RNs, severe right arm and hand weakness necessitating assistance with some aspects of eating (cutting food, spreading butter, etc), no bowel or bladder problems (constipation, diarrhoea or incontinence) and an intact swallow.  Due to the lack of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), a texture modified diet and thickened fluids are not required. However a soft diet would still be of benefit to allow self feeding (no need to cut up food), but assistance to spread margarine on bread etc would still be required. 


What is a texture modified diet?


To see a how modified food and fluid diets are classified by the Dietitians Association of Australia and the Speech Pathology Association of Australia (2007), please click the tab below.


Modified Food and Fluid Diets


Mr Tanner should be routinely screened for malnutrition upon entering the rehabilitation ward as 30-50% of rehabilitation patients are malnourished. Valid malnutrition screening tools for use in the rehabilitation setting include the MNA-SF and Rapid Screen. Using the MNA-SF, Mr Tanner was found to have possible malnutrition, so a more thorough assessment using the MNA was undertaken.


What is MNA-SF? 


Mr Tanner's MNA assessment