Noncompliance with body weight measurement in tertiary care teaching hospitals

Gordon L. Jensen, Janet M. Friedmann, Donna K. Henry, Annalynn Skipper, Elizabeth Beiler, Carol Porter, Diane Boyd-Kantoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Body weight provides vital information for patient care; therefore, measurement at hospital admission should be standard practice. Our objective was to test compliance with this standard. Methods: This was a study of 300 patients, aged ≥18 years, admitted to general medicine and surgery services of 3 tertiary care teaching hospitals in Nashville, Chicago, and San Francisco. At 24 to 36 hours after admission, participants were queried as to whether they had been weighed, and if not, they were asked whether they had been questioned by nursing personnel about their weight. Subjects were then weighed by research personnel using identical protocol at all 3 institutions. Any admission body weight documented by nursing was noted. Results: Compliance was similar at all 3 institutions, with only 197 (65.7%) of patients reporting being weighed. There were 213 (71.0%) patients who had a weight documented in the nursing record. Of those who had not been weighed, 69 (67.0%) indicated that they had been queried about their weight. Comparison of documented weights in the nursing records with those measured by research personnel revealed that 55 (25.9%) differed by ≥5 pounds (2.27 kg). Those who had a documented weight in the nursing record but were not weighed by nursing personnel were also more likely to deviate from the weight measured by research personnel by ≥5 pounds (2.27 kg) in comparison with those who had been weighed by nursing personnel (42.8% versus 21.8%, respectively, p <.0147). Conclusion: Overall compliance with weight measurement is poor. Recorded weights are often inaccurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-90
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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